February 2019

Will Reports:  The dry continues and as access to the tracks have been closed due to the fire risk, we haven’t been able to do any work up the gully. The trap lines have only been checked once this month and then we noticed a huge leaf fall, stressed plants, and the bush was very open due to many lower shrubs and small plants dead or dying.  Hopefully, things won’t be as bad as in the photo. This is a section of plantings along the Great Taste Trail just over the swingbridge on the West side of the river heading towards Brightwater.  Not a pretty sight! What a shame, especially with all the volunteer effort around the district that has been spent trying to make improvements.

A small team did manage to finish repairing the steps going up from the creek crossing before the track closure though. Non conservation work but a great help to the increasing number of people using the track.

It’s really disappointing that any genetic research on pests has been stopped by the government. If they had to service traps year after year, after year…….maybe they would think differently? Trapping is only temporary until science can figure out a solution.  Dropping poisons, in anyones language is not good long term, surely. Heavens above, just how much has been spent on research to date? Never mind more ‘occupational’ research, how about some solutions?  Perhaps the minister for conservation could do something like this: It was reported many years ago a Reverend was walking in a meadow and observed a number of rats migrating from one place to another. He stopped still and watched as they passed by. He was surprised when he saw an old blind rat, which held a piece of stick at one end in its mouth, while another rat had hold of the other end of the stick, and thus conducted its blind fellow along with the other rats.  Now this has possibilities. Why not train some rats to do this to lead their mates into the hands of the SPCA (where they can euthanise (kill) or de-sex as they please). Non genetic and better than throwing poison about?

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: One rat for the month is all. Am feeding and supplying water for the 15 or so quail that have become quite tame here. Pleased to see that one mother started with 7 little “bumble bees”, and a month later still had 7. Better results than what is normal. To me that shows that the trapping is paying off. Not that I had any doubts in that direction anyway.

Mike Olive Reports: An update for January along the top ridge; 1 rat and 3 possums.

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