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!
February has been a busy month for WekaWatch and for the weka. The highlight was welcoming Andrew Bayly, MP for our electorate Hunua, to the Bay. He spent a morning on a trap line with John and Steve and was truly impressed by the work we are doing. You can see more photos of his visit on his Facebook page. While having coffee before he headed off for his next appointment Tipene came out to greet... Read More | Share it now!
Welcome to another edition of the WekaWatch newsletter. We want to bring you up to date on some of the things that have happened since the middle of last year. Weka numbers seem to be growing – cautious optimism is called for In mid-2015 the number of weka in Te Papa Road and the neighbouring valley dropped dramatically over just a few short weeks. The only reason that we could come up with was a predator... Read More | Share it now!
Welcome to another edition of the WekaWatch newsletter. We hope to bring you all up to date on some of the things that have happened since the start of the year. WekaWatch picnic Our January social picnic was held at Waitawa Regional Park on a wonderful summer’s afternoon. The brilliant weather lured out half of South Auckland but we managed to find a corner for ourselves and enjoyed meeting up with... Read More | Share it now!