November 2020

 Will Reports: Very quiet this month due to the logging, then we had some rain, which was good, so went up a couple of times with Dawn, did some more late planting and weeding plus removed some old spray guards.  

Bryan Riley Reports:  Hi Will,   Only one rat caught on the waterfall line. Nothing for the Wilks line. Cheers, Bryan. 

Bruce Harvey Reports: Hi Will, Not much happened in November, just 1 mouse trapped on the Grassy saddle line. Cheers Bruce. 

Alastair Mackintosh Reports: Hi Will. Nothing to report concerning this past month. Unless you count a couple of Wekas. Or it may have been the same one. (Live trapped and released unharmed.) No sign of other nasties, although a bit concerned at the repeated and concentrated, low-level attention a Hawk has been paying to a tree in the area. This is where I suspect a Kereru has nested once again. In a previous year, I found a dead Kereru at the foot. A youngster I suspect had fallen from the nest or had been attacked and fallen. But that’s nature I suppose. All for now, Alastair.

Looking down on Grassy Saddle after the logging showing some of our recent plantings. Jimmy Lee valley to the right, Will’s Gully down to the left. 

 Mike Oliver Reports: Just one stoat caught this month, on the Central Line; it was 440mm long from nose to tail!  Two rats caught at the Fire Lookout. 

This months total Gully Catches: 1 mouse; 1 rat and one stoat.

Paul Peychers of Te Anau has been having trouble with kea’s feeding on DOC 200 trap tunnels! 

“The kea’s chew around the tex screw that holds the lid of the trap, then once free, they somehow move the lid out of the way, then drop a stone on the trap to release it (makes it safe for them) then they grab the bait. If anything has been caught in the trap, they will eat that too. This is the first time Kea’s have interfered with our boxes but have been doing so for some time in the Murchison mountains. We will be installing metal brackets to stop this! (See photos)

Amazing that they drop stones on the plate to set the trap off! They are very smart. 

This bracket has been proven by DoC to work in the Murchison mountains Will, so all new boxes now have them”   

The photo on the left shows the DOC200 lid chewed by the keas to free the tex screw and at the right; the solution cover devised to keep them at bay.

Paul explains the area he works in:

The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation has an community partnership with DoC here in Te Anau to manage the impacts of deer in the Wapiti area. As part of our conservation efforts, we have a Whio program in the mountains up Lake Te Anau.

Lately, I have been servicing the upper Glaisnock area.

The upper Glaisnock run starts just above Taheke Creek & ends in the main head basin. There are around 50 trap boxes which hold 2 DoC 150’s & are mostly baited with venison cubes (which are easily obtainable) plus an egg.

The valley has 2 other runs which are lower Glaisnock (70 odd traps) & the Nitz which has around 48. Further down the North Fiord is the Lugar Burn which has around 85 traps. The other trapped valley is the Worsley which was the first to be set up in 2005. It has around 170 traps in the main valley plus the Castle. Floods wreck havoc each year & destroy riverbank and track. Also traps disappear during these events creating more work for the volunteers. Constant track remarking with tape is required with windfalls, slips & Kea damage to tape.

Last year saw a surge in rat numbers as anticipated with the upper run getting up to 14 each monthly check compared to around 4 or so in normal years. 

Seven or eight runs are the target each season from September till April but everything is weather dependant as helicopters are required to ferry workers up the lake then pick them up later in the day. 

3A significant amount of money is required each year to run the operation & various organisations help out with grants. Helicopter time is donated mostly, depending on returns. For more information, visit

The Upper Glaisnock.
A rock camp on the Upper Glaisnock.

Many Thanks to all the gully team for their efforts for conservation over the year and to all the people who have donated plants and helped to. 

Wishing you all Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

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