Archives For Bay of Islands

200 years ago two cultures, two peoples, started living beside each other at what is now the Marsden Cross Historic Reserve in the Bay of Islands. This became the first permanent European settlement in New Zealand. Ranger Helen Ough Dealy tells us more about the site and its upcoming bicentennial.

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This blog post was originally posted on the Explore Group’s website.

The Project Island Song partners—the Guardians, Ngati Kuta and Patukeha hapu and DOC—recently translocated 43 North Island robin/toutouwai from Pureora Forest in the central North Island to a new home on Moturua Island in the Eastern Bay of Islands/Ipipiri.

North Island robin/toutouwai in a tree. Photo: Richard Robbins/Sally Wells.

North Island robin/toutouwai.

Dr Kevin Parker from Parker Conservation and Massey University lead a large team of 20 which doubled as a training exercise for groups from both Pureora and the Bay of Islands.

The translocation was initiated between the hapu from both areas.

Robins being unloaded on Moturua Island. Photo: Richard Robbins/Sally Wells.

Robins being unloaded on Moturua Island

Firstly, a team from Nga Hapu o Rawhiti in Pureora went ahead to locate and pre-feed the birds, then the full crew arrived for three days of catching.

The catching was mainly done using clap traps, with some mist netting.

The male quota of 25 was caught by the middle of the second day, but the females proved a bit more elusive, with 18 caught by the end of day three.

A North Island robin being banded on Moturua Island. Photo: Richard Robbins/Sally Wells.

A North Island robin being banded

The toutouwai were then transported to Paihia overnight in a campervan provided by Wilderness Motorhomes, and then taken to Moturua Island the next morning where kaumatua and kuia were there to welcome them along with around 50 people who were transported to the island by the Explore Group.

Robins being released on Moturua Island by local volunteers. Photo: Richard Robbins/Sally Wells.

Release time

This was Project Island Song’s first wild to wild translocation.

To find out more visit the Project Island Song website.

Ranger and conservation dog on the boat. Photo: Richard Robbins/Sally Wells.

Ranger and conservation dog

By Cherry Beaver, Trustee, Puketi Forest Trust

The Department of Conservation recently organised a kiwi aversion training day at Puketi Forest in the Bay of Islands. The training course was well supported with over 60 dogs and their owners attending ― luckily for the trainers not all at once!

A dog in front of the sign at kiwi aversion training. Photo: Cherry Beaver.

Over 60 dogs attended kiwi aversion training at Puketi Forest, including Nichol

The training days are a really important lesson for any dog that is likely to encounter a kiwi. It is an important tool in teaching dogs that kiwi are something they should stay away from.

As part of the training three model kiwis are placed along a small bush track. The dog wears a collar and receives a mild electric shock when they pass and sniff the kiwi. Generally they only need one shock and they learn to avoid the next bird.

A dog in the forest learning to avoid kiwi. Photo: Cherry Beaver.

Nichol in the bush during his kiwi aversion training

I took my dog Nichol, and I was amazed at how fast the process worked and how the dogs learn to avoid the kiwi so quickly.

The training is not foolproof and it is recommended that dogs complete the training each year, but many kiwi could be saved if all dogs went through this simple and effective training.

A North Island brown kiwi. Photo: Eric Carlson.

North Island brown kiwi

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