even quite small rivers are an effective barrier to possum migration. So found ZIP (Zero Invasive Predators), in 2017, when they ran a trial in Remutaka Forest Park.
Last year, a similar trial began in the Perth River valley, to measure whether or not larger rivers are also an effective barrier to the migration of rats.
By 19 February 2019, after more than seven months of continuous bio-marking and trapping, confidence has grown. Trials were run across winter (where the river levels are lowest; the water is at its coldest; and rat breeding and dispersal activity is low), and across spring/summer (when the river levels rise as snow and ice melts; and rat breeding and movement increases).
“We are very encouraged by this promising result!” say the team.
Maybe, just maybe, some rats don’t like getting their feet wet!?
In Cloak of Protection, there are three rats: kiore; Norway; and Ship (shown).
Making Flight of Pollen we learnt that the endangered sort-tailed bat / pekapeka (which is a phenomenal pollinator), has had much of its role in our Native bush, taken over by the Ship rat – when the rat doesn’t eat everything in sight ie the whole flower (of course)!
this summer is expected to be the biggest we’ve ever known.
That’s because we’re having the biggest rimu mast that’s ever been recorded.
Rimu mast (seed fruiting in large amounts) is the trigger for the female kākāpō on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou (about three kilometres north-west of Stewart Island/Rakiura), and on Anchor Island/Puke Nui (in Fiordland’s Dusky Sound) to come, answer the boys booming. Finally joining them to dance in their sounding bowls!
These Islands are home to New Zealand’s main populations of kākāpō. The third Island is Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island, in the Hauraki Gulf.
There are 148 kākāpō and the population is slowly increasing. But the likeable parrots face lots of problems. The biggest is infertility.
Kākāpō and takahē expert Andrew Digby, a DOC scientist says that, “Only about half of the eggs hatch, and only about a third of the eggs that are laid turn into chicks that fledge.”
Last year, for example, there were 122 eggs laid but only 34 chicks fledged.
That makes mast years like next year of huge importance. Digby says, “It’s going to be a big one for us.”
One that will bring out the girls!
Thanks to the undaunting efforts of the Department of Conservation, in Cloak of Protection, Kākāpō remain in the FOREST realm, and have not joined the EXTINCT realm.
The pitter patter of little takahē feet is on the cards at Kahurangi National Park. DOC reports that the first eggs of the new wild population have been found at Gouland Downs off the Heaphy Track, only the second wild site for takahē.
Today it is exactly 70 years since takahē were rediscovered in the Murchison mountains of Fiordland.
As a student, one of my holiday jobs was working at the Murrell Accomodation in Manapouri. Old man Murrell told me that he had been one of the group that lead Orbell up into the mountains on that day.
He also laughed and claimed that they knew of the existence of the birds long before this. I wonder?
Never-the-less, we mark today as the 70th year of their rediscovery.
Takahē in Cloak of Protection belong in Tane’s Forest Realm. The work of The Takahē Recovery Programme means that they did not join Hine Nui Te Po in the realm of the extinct.
Seventy years on they remain with us, and are now laying eggs in the wild in two locations.
in April, environmental educators gathered in Wellington for the annual NZAEE conference. On the Thursday evening, while some went off on a night-tour of Zealandia (and saw kiwi) we played games! Kakariki Games.
February was Meet-the-Providers month. Enviroschools in the Greater Wellington region invited teachers to meet with local providers of environmental resources.
Because Cloak of Protection has had huge support from Wellington Enviroschools, I attended events in the Kapiti Coast, in the Hutt Valley, and in the Wairarapa.
Many teachers were very complimentary about Cloak of Protection, and were keen to have a look at Flight of Pollen, and to learn our plans for teaching it.
Here is a table of Kakariki Game goodies, laid out in Featherston.
Thought I’d share this lovely comment I received in October. Perfect place to play the game!!
Just thought you might like to know how much our family love your card game. It was a real highlight taking it in our pack on our tramp on the weekend. We stayed overnight at a tramping hut with another family and introduced them to the game. With a 7,8,10 and 11 year old we played until after 10pm in candlelight. Only stopping to hear the morepork and to check out possums with torchlight. Was a great location to play the game in!
Home again & playing the game, last Saturday night with a bunch of primary-school teachers – I realized how much better the game has become since it first left my hands.
Partly it’s the Hundredth Monkey Principal.* But it’s more than that!
It’s as if Cloak of Protection has been played often enough, with real meaning, that it’s generated a life of its own!
ie the game now appears to have generated its own force-field! One which is due to all of you.
Scientists acknowledge that his can happen in a creative process.
Rupert Seldrake in his book A New Science of Life says “the creative process can be seen as a successive development of more complex and higher-level wholes, through previously separate things being connected together”.
I stand in awe & wonder.
*The Hundredth Monkey Principal was observed by Lyall Watson. After a group of monkeys on an island learned a new behaviour, suddenly other monkeys on other islands with no possible “normal” means of communication learnt that behaviour too. (Lifetide: The Biology of Consciousness)
Wellington Enviroschools & Kakariki games are having a Christmas holiday gift offer on Cloak of Protection.
It’s quite simple. For Nov/Dec every 5 games that are bought where your school is nominated, they’ll get a free game (Karyn says that a school can never have too many games!!).
This replaces the other promotion, in that, for these 2 months, every time your school hits a multiple of 5 sold, they’ll get a game.
And, any school can join in – enviroschool or not! If your school is not already registered as part of our network, then contact me & I’ll put your school name where people can choose you on the buy page.
You can download the poster from the top of the RHS column. You could put it up where parents will see it, &/or put a smaller black&white version in the school newsletter, &/or do anything else you can think of. . .
Thankyou all for being a part of playing the game. It feels so much more alive this Christmas!