Finding ways to help the environment has never been easier thanks to the collaboration of three local environmental groups, Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, Envirohub Marlborough and Picton Dawn Chorus.
“Along with the Department of Conservation, Port Marlborough is a ‘Foundation Partner’ of the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. We’re delighted to take that partnership to the next level by now providing fully sponsored long-term accommodation to the Kaipupu Sanctuary team, along with similarly focused community environmental groups Picton Dawn Chorus and Envirohub.” Rose Prendeville, Capabilities Manager at Port Marlborough continues “these groups will collectively occupy retail premises at the Auckland Street frontage of the main Port Marlborough administration building, which we already share with DOC – making the co-location a natural fit. On behalf of the groups, we acknowledge Marlborough District Council councillors and staff for their support of this collaboration.”
“The support from Port Marlborough and the Marlborough District Council in creating this wonderful new space is hugely appreciated by all of us. It will be a great working environment for our coordinators as well as a chance for us to connect with the public, to share knowledge about traps and trapping, and to continue our efforts towards getting a trap in every fourth garden in Picton” says James Wilson, Chairman of Picton Dawn Chorus.
The space at 14 Auckland Street, previously a self-service laundromat, has been fitted out to include a shop and information area out the front, and a back office to accommodate the coordinators from the three environmental groups. The front space will also double as a space for talks, workshops and events.
“We are looking forward to the opportunities that working under one roof will bring” says Rachel Russell, Project Coordinator for Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. “With similar goals we hope to collaborate on more projects that will inform our community and benefit the environment in and around Picton”.
For all the groups the words ‘mahi tahi’ or working together sum up nicely what the groups are trying to achieve in this space. Andrea Askin Mills, Envirohub Marlborough coordinator explains “we are excited to be working alongside two fantastic organisations and looking forward to running and promoting more environmental events for our community from a wonderful new shared space.”
Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, Picton Dawn Chorus and Envirohub Marlborough will be ready to welcome visitors to 14 Auckland Street (next to Picton Laundromat) from Monday 25th February. An official opening will be held later in March.
In the world of Little Blue Penguins, males arrive at nest sites first. Nests are prepared and territories formed with displays used to attract mates and deter the competition. Once established, the penguin pair continue to embellish their nest with leaves, twigs and even the odd ponga frond. This is the second year that we have filmed the penguins in this box and they are currently working all night long to complete their nest. Can you spot the third penguin entering the nest box (maybe last years chick or perhaps a friendly neighbour?)
We know that Vespex will be extremely effective on the Sanctuary but we want to aim bigger… we want to get rid of wasps from the whole of Picton and Waikawa. By targeting a larger area, it will reduce reinvasion of wasps onto the Sanctuary but it will also benefit the wildlife around Picton and Waikawa, and it will make fish and chips on the foreshore much more enjoyable.
To achieve large-scale wasp control, we need help. Once testing shows the right level of wasp numbers, 520 bait stations will need to be placed across Picton and Waikawa including The Wedge, Victoria Domain, Essons Valley and urban areas. We are looking for people who are keen to help with this process but we are also looking for people who would like to host a bait station in their own backyard. The map below gives an indication of where bait stations are likely to be placed, if you would like to help please give us a call.
The total cost of this control programme will be around $3,500 and we believe that this is an achievable figure. We have already received a donation from The Veronica Trust but every little bit helps. If you would like to donate funds to help us achieve a wasp free Picton/Waikawa then please contact us.
For more information about Vespex visit their website.
Monitoring bird numbers help us to see tell if our trapping programme is successful. Each year volunteers carry out bird counts to determine the number of birds across the Sanctuary and the resulting movies (below) show bird-count heatmaps over time. The timeline across the top shows the year, with key dates giving an insight into the fluctuations of bird numbers.
2006: the establishment of the Sanctuary
2008: the predator proof fence was installed
2012: an intensive pest eradication programme began
2013: the Sanctuary was opened to the public
Thanks to CatchIT Graphics, we can also see the number of pest species across the Sanctuary. Below is a link to the heat maps and graphs showing the number of rats, mice, stoats and possums caught.
You know that feeling...when you've just got home and you know you have to look after the kids but you really don't want to (not just yet anyway) so you delay walking in the door...until you are sprung...and then you settle in for the night and a late night visitor pops in.
Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary at the head of Picton harbour became the newest crèche for endangered rowi kiwi today. The Department of Conservation, Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society, Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio and Te Ātiawa invited the public to join the celebration and blessing ceremony which was held at Waikawa Marae and provided a great opportunity to see the young rowi chicks.
Two four-month-old rowi were part of the blessing ceremony and afterwards were released onto Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary. A total of nine juvenile rowi are the first to be sheltered at the sanctuary.
Predator-free Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds has been the main crèche location for juvenile rowi kiwi until this point.
DOC South Westland Operations Manager Jo Macpherson says more space is needed for juvenile rowi due to the success of the DOC and Kiwis for kiwi rowi programme in increasing the numbers of New Zealand’s rarest kiwi from below 200 to more than 400.
“An increasing number of rowi are being hatched from eggs collected in Ōkarito Forest and Motuara can’t accommodate them all.”
“We are capping the number of juvenile rowi on Motuara at 50 birds to ensure they can all get enough food to eat which for kiwi includes insects, grubs, and worms. Having another crèche site at the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary also provides insurance should anything such as disease threaten the kiwi on Motuara.”
Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society Chairman Barry Maister said to become a rowi crèche was a significant milestone for the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary.
“This is incredibly exciting and a testament to the many thousands of volunteer hours trapping and pest monitoring on the sanctuary over the last 11 years. From day one of the project we have looked forward to the time we could welcome kiwi onto Kaipupu Point.
“Our ongoing commitment to predator control means we can offer a safe crèche scenario for juvenile rowi.”
Through the Kiwis for kiwi Operation Nest Egg programme, rowi eggs are taken out of Ōkarito Forest and hatched at the West Coast Wildlife Centre. The chicks are then moved to Christchurch’s Willowbank Wildlife Centre where they begin to learn to care for themselves while being monitored by carers. Then the juvenile kiwi are kept in predator-free sanctuaries until about a year old and 1 – 1.5 kilogrammes in size when they are better able to defend themselves from stoats.
About the Sanctuary
Established in 2005, Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary is the closest sanctuary to Picton. Protected by a pest resistant fence, Kaipupu Point is a safe haven to many native plant and animal species.