Te Mata School students Ahmed Khalid and Lucinda Newman recently visited Cape Sanctuary in the Hawke’s Bay, they share their story…
Last year we visited Cape Sanctuary to learn about sustainability and biodiversity. Cape Sanctuary is on a farm owned by the Robinson and Lowe families.
The team at Cape Sanctuary are trying to get rid of pests like stoats, possums, feral cats, rats, mice and rabbits by building a 10 kilometre long predator fence. They also use a variety of traps and tracking tunnels inside the sanctuary. They bait the trap, so when the pest walks in — “smash” — it kills the pest.
The sanctuary is helping to restore the past by bringing back our native species. We think they are doing a good job at Cape Sanctuary because they are saving lots of our endemic and native animals.
We also undertook a classroom activity with an imaginary conservation scenario. To complete the activity we had a list of native and introduced creatures, we then threw dice to determine how many of each type of creature was present in our own imaginary sanctuary. We then decided what we needed to do to correct the imbalance in our sanctuary.
The ‘dice data’ gave us information about threats, habitat and the potential for endemic animals to thrive. It showed us that in our imaginary situation feral cats were easy to spot and we had nine of them. Kererū were able to be found and there were ten of them present. We were helping a lot of kiwi because there were twelve. Unfortunately there was an awful lot of stoats so we needed more traps. Huhu grubs were rare so we needed to provide more rotten trees for them. We had planted a lot of trees in our imaginary sanctuary so there were eight tūī. Tuatara were common because we have lots of rivers with rocks.
The classroom activity and our wonderful trip to Cape Sanctuary has taught us a lot about conservation. We now have a better understanding of how we can protect biodiversity in our own backyard!