Eleven volunteers from the New Plymouth branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers spent a day out of the office as they helped replace over 90 stoat traps along the Curtis Falls Track in the Egmont National Park.
The old traps came out of the boxes and new stainless steel ones went in. Replacing a line like this can take a couple of weeks so the volunteers really made a difference. With each person carrying six traps in and another six out as well as some tough climbs along the way, it was a big day.
This trap line protects the whio living along streams and rivers such as the Maketawa and they form a network that covers around 7000 hectares. Last year was a record year for whio ducklings in the Park with 33 ducklings hatching in the wild.
Another volunteer, Ian Street enjoys the Onaero Domain where he spends a lot of time at his Onaero beach batch and helps out by looking after a trapline and keeping an eye on weeds in the local reserve.
A whitefaced heron also enjoys the Onaero Domain and batch dwellers say he’s been around for about 14 years. “He had a mate,”said Ian, “but she died some time ago.
Recently though he’s found another.”
The heron seems to know when Ian’s at home. He walks up to the front door and taps on the door. “He visits regularly,” said Ian. “I give him a little bit of fresh mince sometimes and away he goes.”
Whitefaced herons are New Zealand’s most common heron. They arrived from Australia in the 1940s so they’re considered native. This one’s been around long enough to be called a local.