Track construction around the headland
This is really exciting stuff! Field volunteers have been working with the contractor engaged (TST Contracting) to construct all 3 stages of the access track around Kaipupu Sanctuary.The track grade is less than 10%, making it easy for most physical abilities. More tracks will be installed as funds are raised.
The Kaipupu Sanctuary pontoon and jetty
The Kaipupu Shop and Information Site
Water Feeders for Birds
Bird counts are undertaken annually on Kaipupu, led by Diane John. These bird surveys are being conducted to give us a base line number so that we will be able to track the effect on the bird life as the fence is completed, trapping intensifies, and final areadication of pests is done. It is intended that these counts will continue for several years to plot any changes in the bird species and numbers. A team of at least 3 people conducts the 5 Minute Bird Counts with 2 observers and 1 scribe. They stand at a designated station for 5 minutes and record all birds seen and heard. Following this they move to the next station, which is at least 200 metres from the previous one and repeat the count. The stations have to far enough apart to avoid counting birds twice. Currently we have 7 count stations identified on the point but intend to add 1-2 more as the track access improves. These counts are seen as an index rather than an actual numbers of birds present. They record the types of birds present, and give an indication of density of populations.
Native birds in the area include kereru, wekas, fantail (piwakawaka), silvereye, riroriro (grey warbler), tui, bellbird (korimako), brown creeper, and welcome swallow, along with various shags, gulls, and other coastal birds including the little blue penguin.
Currently the most common bird is the silvereye.
The Sea Ends of the Predator Proof Fence
Both the landward and sea sections of the fence are completed. Volunteers have contributed many hours of time, both in the design phase, and in construction and maintenance, particularly of the sea ends of the fence. This entire construction is an important phase of making Kaipupu into a true “mainland island”.
Special durable materials were used on the sea ends of the fence, piles driven into the seabed, and the fence constructed and attached to the piles. It was no easy task in this terrain, and we are grateful for the donation of time and materials by Port Marlborough, Crafar and Crouch, and Kenny’s Barging for all their help in accomplishing this.
The 600 metre long predator proof fence stands 2 metres high. The base fence consists of 3 metre tanalised fence posts extending 2 metres above the ground and positioned at 4 metre spacings. Stainless steel wire mesh designed to exclude even juvenile mice, is attached to the body of the fence. The special hood is positioned on top of the fence to prevent the passage of jumping animals such as cats, deer and goats, and to serve as a barrier to climbing animals such as possums, stoats, rats and mice. This hood is made of zinc-alum “coloursteel”, the same material that si used for roofing iron throughout New Zealand. Greater amounts of aluminium is used in the material which is used for hoods installed close to the sea, as this is such a corrosive environment.
The wire mesh is extended out horizontally from the base of the fence as a “skirt” to prevent burrowing animals such as rabbits and rats from digging under the structure. The fence is designed so that sections or materials can be replaced without having to strip large parts of the fence, so that in the event that one small section of the fence is damaged or needs replacing, that small section of material can easily be replaced without having to replace a larger section of fence.
To learn more about what is happening on Kaipupu phone 027-898-2517