This month our news is all about the numbers game. Rats – Last month we boasted that the trappers had taken 160 rats so far in 2018 but the May rat capture has raised that total for 2018 to 251! We still have Racumin should you need weka-safe (and pet-safe) rat poison. Phone 2922 512 or 2922 221 Weka flock shapes – By popular request we have more weka shapes available. Undercoated they are ready for... Read More | Share it now!
In 2005, soon after North Island weka were found to be living at Kawakawa Bay, a small team of birders conducted a weka survey. The calls of 16 different weka were heard. Every autumn since then the weka have been counted and the progress of the population recorded. Weka numbers are known to fluctuate wildly, affected by weather, food availability, disease, and predation pressures. Over the last 13... Read More | Share it now!
When the Good Nature automatic traps were first released onto the market, WekaWatch decided to wait and see if they worked for others before investing $200 in one for ourselves. However in July last year we were loaned a Good Nature trap, the one designed for possums. Great! At no cost to us we could try one out! As with all traps in the weka area we fixed it a metre from the ground. Timms traps at this height... Read More | Share it now!
December 2017 Weka Chicks We’d hoped to report to you about a number of successful weka families but they are proving hard to find. Tipene and Sheila have lost one of their two babies but the surviving chick is looking well. It is starting to show the first brown feathers and is past the cute fluffy stage. The pair at the back of Te Papa Road might have 2 chicks but they are not being seen right now. Roxy... Read More | Share it now!
Spring is here. There has been a change in the behaviour of some of the weka pairs; not appreaing as often and not being seen together. Tipene and Sheila have been one pair like this. This weekend Sheila was seen taking small pieces of cheese up into the bush rather than scoffing them on the spot. This is what we call ‘carrying’ and it means that she and her mate have small chicks to feed. Cheese is... Read More | Share it now!
We have to accept that, if we are to save endangered native fauna, we have to get rid of the animals that can harm them. WekaWatch targets the worst weka predators, stoats, ferrets and weasels and also rats and hedgehogs. Safe baits became very expensive so we now use only traps. Timms traps. Most people are familiar with the bright yellow trap in the photo below. Timms traps are the most effective... Read More | Share it now!
Weather Four major weather events between mid-February and late April have influenced our work more than anything else over recent months. Rain, rain and more rain in March and April caused severe slips on the Coast Road closing access to our two longest trap lines and also to five of our 11 count sites. The road is still closed to all but residential traffic and it seems it will be for another 6 to 9 months.... Read More | Share it now!
Our enthusiastic trappers had a productive month in June. The two long trap lines on the Tawhitokino farm were walked and 92 traps were cleared, some of them twice. And the results? 70 rats, 9 hedgehogs, and one stoat. Only 2 possums have been taken in the Te Papa Road area this month, quite a low number for 30 days. But the possum total for 2017 is now 34! We are really targeting stoats and ferrets. The... Read More | Share it now!
Bad news for the possums but good news for the weka in the Te Papa Road area! Possums frequently trip our motion sensitive cameras so we know they are always there in our valley. In April John trapped 14 of them! Thank you Barbara and Alan for the free feijoas – the possums loved them! This gives us a grand total of 352 of these pests trapped since 2005. We all know that possums are a ‘bad... Read More | Share it now!
WekaWatch is on ferret alert! To our dismay and concern in the middle of March one of our trail cameras caught a ferret in the heart of weka territory. Ferrets along with unleashed dogs are the greatest threat to the endangered weka. They are highly mobile predators with a large home range of about 100 hectares. A male’s range is often greater than this. Traps in the immediate area have been baited with... Read More | Share it now!