Missing Megaherb Back on Mainland

1st May 2021 was an historic occasion. Bluff Hill Motupōhue Trust volunteers, under Chair Estelle Leask, and Southland Community Nursery volunteers translocated 45 Punui (Stilbocarpa lyallii) plants back onto the NZ mainland! Pūnui/bunawe is a taonga species to local iwi and has many traditional uses. It grows on southern offshore muttonbird islands associated with seabird colonies, but gets eaten by introduced animals and so declined early on the mainland of NZ. With extensive predator control being undertaken over many years Bluff Hill Motupōhue is a perfect place for its reintroduction. Check out the ODT article from the day at

Southland Forest & Bird Celebrate Some Gains

At the recent Southland Forest & Bird (F&B) AGM, we heard from Fergus Sutherland, long time caretaker of their restoration project, Te Rere, that although the outcome for hoi ho was not good this last year, he was seeing more and more little blue penguins and titi along the coast on this F&B property. The same poor results were being seen for hoi ho right up the east coast, with concerns about pressure on feed species from fishing and increased disease occurring, these elements largely beyond the control of local F&B trying to help this penguin species. However as a result of the predator control and replanting that groups were undertaking, the one benefit becoming obvious has been increased numbers of little blue penguins breeding, along with the titi (muttonbird) being seen to be breeding on the mainland again. The other gain to be celebrated was at the F&B’s Lenz Reserve, near Tautuku, where intensive predator control was being undertaken through a project of the Dunedin F&B, assisted by the South Otago and Southland branches. The numbers of kaka and kerearea (falcon) were noticeably on the increase in this area. If you are interested in helping out with the restoration project at Te Rere, the next planting day will be in August. Watch SERN’s Events page for more information.

Upskill on your Predator Control

Predator Free NZ and Environment Southland are hosting an evening with Cam Speedy, a wildlife biologist with over 40 years experience in predator control on 17th May. The control of predators, often in urban situations, is making a huge difference to our native species, our birds especially. Our local groups work at Bluff, Oban and Otatara, has resulted in species like kakariki, kaka, kereru, ruru, along with the engaging robin, being seen as you go for walks around these areas. If you’re interested in knowing more about predator control or improving your technique, then this is a must do event. Check it out under Events on our SERN website and register now!

Pomona Island's Covid Challenges

The inability for the Pomona Island Trust volunteers to maintain their regular pest control duties through the Covid lockdown resulted in the explosion of rat numbers through the autumn.

Full credit to those involved in this project who with the lift of lockdown swang in to action and through many dedicated volunteer hours have reduced the rat numbers to almost achieve rat free status again. An amazing effort.

Read more about Pomona Island news in the latest newsletter.

Southland Community Nursery Workshops in June 2020

All workshops will be 10am – noon and the schedule will be as follows and bookings are required email Chris at : Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Friday 12 June 2020 – Native Plant Cuttings Workshop - Linda

Friday 19 June 2020 – Native Plant Cuttings Workshop - Linda

Friday 26 June 2020 – Vegetable Gardening in Southland – Bronwyn and Erica

Friday 3 July 2020 – Principles of Permaculture and Forest Gardens – Geoff

Friday 10 July 2020 – Setting up a Community Nursery - Chris

For more information about the Community Nursery -