Bells’ Track May 2014 Update

Tena koutou katoa

The native plants have arrived for this year’s planting so plenty of volunteer help will be needed.  If you know of anyone able to help please ask them to get in touch with me or turn up on the dates listed below.   This coming weekend is Queens Birthday so I have deferred the regular working bee to Sunday June 15th and will make it a tree planting day.   Additionally I will not be available for the Awarua St 11am to 1pm group on Tuesday June 3rd.   Most of the new plants will need to be carried up the hill so help will be needed for this job too.   For those who have adopted a spot please contact me so we can arrange a time for you to pick up your plants.

The planting days proposed are:

Saturday June 7th

Sunday June 15th

Sunday June 29th

Saturday July 5th

Sunday July 6th

Sunday July 20th

On 17th May, along with Michaei McBryde, I attended the Restoration Day gathering at Pauatahunui  organised by local councils, DOC, Regional Council and Nature Space.  It was a very worthwhile day and I would like to share some of the things I learnt.

We have more snails than anywhere else on earth ( the petit gris that damages our gardens iis not native and will not survive in our forests)

If we did nothing the kiwi would disappear within two generations.   In 8 years Whakatane has managed to have 150 kiwis around the city.

The importance of wetlands was stressed bearing in mind that there is “No green without blue”  In other words without water there would be no plant growth.   Wetlands are a carbon sink, they remove carbon from the atmosphere, hold on to it, eventually producing coal.

Ruud  Kleinpaste, the bugman, gave a wonderful talk.   Apparently we live in a world run by bugs… for example. pollination, seed dispersal, food for animals.  Meat wrapped in the silk from an insect will not go off.

Warren Field spoke on bio diversity and the number of schools now involved in saving species.   George Gibbs spoke about wetas.  The cave weta is now known as the jumping weta as not all of them live in caves.   They grow by shedding skin.  On the west coast of the south island a beautiful green weta lives in moss and is therefore completely disguised.  The Wellington male weta has a large head for fighting other males and for ‘collecting’ females in a harem.  There are other  small males that don’t waste time defending themselves and which reproduce by mating sneakily.

During the day I was able to visit the Pauatahunui  inlet coupled with a talk on estuaries,where the waters meet and are a nursery ground for many different species

It was a very worthwhile day and I am grateful to the organisers.

 On another occasion I learnt from Raewyn Epsom. conservation manager at Zealandia the most of the introduced bird species are doing well.   There has been a good increase in kakariki but unfortunately the korimako ( bell bird) are not doing so well.   It appears that the females prefer to forage outside the fence close to the ground and are thus vulnerable to predation.  That’s a pity,  I was looking forward to them heading our way.  Often they follow tui as they like similar food and then the song of the tui become more melodious with the influence of the korimako


Ka  kite ano,