Flora needs keen helpers

The Leader (Tasman) - - NEWS - By HE­LEN MUR­DOCH

Kahu­rangi Na­tional Park’s Friends of Flora is look­ing for ac­tive back-coun­try vol­un­teers to help with kiwi mon­i­tor­ing and check­ing trap lines.

FOF chair­man Peter Adams said the night mon­i­tor­ing of kiwi was es­sen­tial to find out how ac­tive the birds were and if they were breed­ing – in­for­ma­tion needed to as­sess if FOF had a sus­tain­able Kiwi pop­u­la­tion.

He said the mon­i­tor­ing in­volved long days in the bush, of­ten off the track, with long pe­ri­ods sta­tion­ary, some­times on freez­ing ridgetops, try­ing to pick up elu­sive ‘‘beeps’’ from trans­mit­ters.

But it was a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for those who en­joyed a chal­lenge. The bonus was vol­un­teers would be trained in ra­dio teleme­try and would forgo hav­ing to pay gym fees. They would need to com­mit for one day a month.

Vol­un­teers were also needed to help check FOF’s ex­ten­sive net­work of traps which reached from Flora carpark across the Table­lands to the edge of the Cobb Val­ley. Once-amonth trap checks are nor­mally done in small teams, and with many traps off the tracks again a good level of fit­ness is needed. Vol­un­teers should also be com­fort­able han­dling dead pests and re­set­ting traps.

Trap vol­un­teers are needed to com­mit to one to two days a month and FOF is es­pe­cially in­ter­ested in any vol­un­teers who would be keen to be re­spon­si­ble for a line.

In­spired by For­est and Bird’s re­cent Den­nis­ton Plateau Bioblitz, FOF is look­ing at adopt­ing a sim­i­lar ap­proach to the 7000 hectares cov­ered by its Flora Stream trap net­work.

The group aims to cre­ate an in­ven­tory of what is liv­ing in the Flora. This work is likely to take place early next year.

If you are in­ter­ested con­tact FOF on fof@fof.org.nz or call 03 528 9054.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Helpers wanted: Friends of Flora stal­warts Bill Rooke and Maryann Ew­ers put in the hard yards haul­ing trap boxes and kiwi track­ing gear in Kahu­rangi Na­tional Park.

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