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News from Project Janszoon - Spring 2016 / issue 13

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A new intensive predator control area at Falls River is the first step towards providing a safe corridor for native birds from the top of the Park to the Coast.
 
The Falls River Management Area is an 842 ha site between Torrent Bay and Bark Bay.  A network of 841 bait stations to control rat numbers has been installed, complementing the existing stoat trapping network in the area.

Project Janszoon operations manager Andrew Macalister says the large protected area will ultimately connect Canaan Downs to the Coast. “Providing a safe passage for rat and stoat sensitive birds, like riflemen, tomtits and kakariki, to move down to the coast is a fundamental part of Project Janszoon’s restoration strategy.  With the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust’s plan to provide rat control from Pitt Head to Torrent Bay, we will be able to provide a large safe environment for birds to re-establish and disperse in an area of high public use,” he says.              

Read more 


Stoat trapping network a huge boost

The survival of native birds and plants in the north of the Park has been given a huge boost, with a major new stoat trapping network now operational.
 
The 2,165 ha network was financed through the recently-announced biodiversity project between Air New Zealand, DOC and Manawhenua ki Mohua.  460 double-set trap boxes have been installed, running from Totaranui north to Separation Point and across to Wainui.  They connect with Project Janszoon’s 15,000 ha stoat trapping network in the south of the Park and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust's traps, bringing the total number of stoat trap boxes in the Park to around 2,600.  

Read more
DOC ranger Matt Nalder begins the hard work installing the traps 
In this issue
  • Calling citizen scientists
  • Volunteers needed
  • Appletree Bay gets facelift
  • Northern stoat trapping network
  • Robin disperse
  • Iwi reps join student advisory board
  • 1080 monitoring results
  • Torrent Bay weed blitz
  • It's all in a name - mistletoe
  • Birds to get safe corridor to coast
Mistletoe sightings

Mistletoe flowering season is on its way and we want to know if you see any of this rare plant in the Park. Report sightings on our smart phone app or info@janszoon.org

Volunteers wanted

Project Janszoon and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust are looking for help with planting maintenance on Abel Tasman beaches this summer.  The work involves making sure that the dune plants do not get smothered with weeds.  If you are keen contact Helen Lindsay 
helenlindsay3@gmail.com


Internet popular
 
Thanks to everyone who has used the pay-per-use internet at Torrent Bay and Awaroa.  The service seems to be well liked and best of all funds go towards the restoration of the Park.

Possum and rat numbers in the north take a hit
 
Monitoring shows possum and rat numbers in the north of the Park have dropped dramatically after September’s aerial 1080 operation.
 
The 1080 operation targeted possums over 3,800 ha north of Awaroa.  In 2012, when this area was last monitored for possums, it had an 80.5% bite mark index (BMI).  Monitoring a month after this years aerial operation showed a 1.5% BMI, a significant reduction in numbers.
 
Although possums were the target species two temporary rat monitoring lines were installed before the aerial operation.  In July 2016, 37.5% of the tracking tunnels showed rat tracking.  This dropped to zero a month after the 1080 operation. 
 
These results bode well for the success of bird breeding over spring. The aerial operation is being complemented by a new stoat network and Sentinel possum traps in the north, funded by the Air New Zealand, DOC and Manawhenua ki Mohua biodiversity project.  
 
Help us restore the Abel Tasman
 
Project Janszoon is asking the public to take on the role of ‘citizen scientists’ to help with the management and restoration of the Abel Tasman.
 
A new observation function has been added to the ‘Virtual Visitor Centre’ smart phone app.  It allows park visitors to report sightings of particular native birds, plants and introduced predators.
 
”This is a way of getting everyone, from school groups and overseas visitors to experienced scientists, to help us in the restoration of Abel Tasman.  It will help us undertake targeted pest and weed control, and to understand a whole lot more about the distribution of threatened bird species,” says Project Janszoon operations manager Andrew Macalister.
 
Initially we are looking for information on the distribution of threatened species such as robin, kaka, kakariki and mistletoe, and on the presence of a range of species like goats, pigs, Gunnera, climbing asparagus and sycamore. 
 
To submit observations go to the ‘Have you seen this” section of the smart phone app, it adds GPS co-ordinates and also allows for photos to be included.  You can download the ‘Virtual Visitor Centre’ for free by searching for Abel Tasman at the App or Google Play stores.

Robin disperse from Pitt Head
It appears the 50 robin / toutouwai transferred from Motuareronui Adele Island to Pitt Head in April by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust have dispersed from their new home.
 
While monitoring found 18 individual birds on Pitt Head in the two months immediately after the transfer, by August none could be found.  Project Janszoon provided logistical support for the transfer and monitoring.
Ornithologist Pete Gaze says it appears the remaining birds dispersed from the area between July and August.“While it is disappointing none of the robin appear to have stayed in the relocation area it is not uncommon for them to disperse after translocations,” he says.
 
Pete says it is unlikely the birds were predated as the dispersal was sudden and a chew card survey over the same time period has shown rat density was relatively low.  As the transferred birds were all banded there is a plan to search for them on Adele Island to see if some have returned. 
 
If you sight robin in the lower reaches of the Park, especially banded ones, please let us know, either through the new reporting function on the smart phone app or by email.


Photo Ruth Bollongino

Torrent Bay weed blitz

A weed offensive at Torrent Bay over Labour Weekend was received well by landowners.
 
Project Janszoon and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust have been working together to control weeds throughout the Park over the past three years.  At Labour Weekend, contractors Dave and Rachel Newton were in the village to advise and help locals deal with some of the worst weed offenders.
 
“We had a really good reception.  People we talked to had noticed an increase in bird numbers so are really supportive of the restoration work being undertaken in the Park,” says Dave.
 
Extensive work has already been undertaken behind Torrent Bay targeting wilding pines and Grevillea.  Dave says he was able to show locals how to cut and paste other problem plants that appear to have ‘jumped the fence’ like cotoneaster (Cotoneaster glaucophyllus).
“Quite a few landowners have also noticed Montpellier broom (Genista monspessulana) has recently gained a bit of a foothold in the village and along the edge of the track, and are keen to see it removed before it takes hold. Montpellier broom plants (pictured) can be dug up, hand pulled or sprayed,” says Dave.

We would like to thank the bach owners for their support of the work we are doing to control weed species.  For more information on the Park’s problem plants click
here

Appletree Bay gets a facelift 
A huge thanks to everyone who has helped with dune restoration at Appletree Bay, as part of the Firesmart programme.  DOC staff cleared the gorse and then enthusiastic and energetic volunteers, including the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust and the Air New Zealand Green Team planted hundreds of sand-binding plants and trees. 
 
The Firesmart programme not only reduces the risk of fire and the impact of erosion events, it also improves native habitat and enhances visitor experiences. A dune restoration expert, Jim Dahm, visited the Park recently to make recommendations on how to continue this work at other beaches.  His advice was very encouraging and we expect to be able to achieve even more in the coming years.  
   

Below are photos of some of the volunteers hard at work and also a before and after shot, comparing 2013 to now, with the recent plantings.

 



Iwi representatives join Student Advisory Board



Youth representatives from Motueka’s Te Awhina marae and Golden Bay’s Onetahua marae will join 2017’s Student Advisory Board.
 
The Advisory Board (SAB) began in 2015 and includes four students and one teacher representative from each of our Adopt a Section school partners; Golden Bay High School, Motueka High School and Motupipi Primary.  
 
Education advisor Wendy Reeve says places on the board are greatly sought after.  “The 2017 board was selected from a terrific and highly competitive pool of applications which was great to see.  Having iwi youth representatives honours the important relationship and history local Maori have with the Park,” she says.
 
Last week the 2016 student board members “passed over the batton” to the new members at a powhiri and meeting at Onetahua marae in Pohara (pictured above). The powhiri was organised by Bev Purdie of Manawhenua ki Mohua and included a fascinating presentation on the art, design and history of Onetahua marae by Robin Slow.
 
“Bev has been part of the SAB team this year and made this terrific event possible.  Iwi are guardians or kaitiaki of the Park and the students and adult SAB members really appreciated getting an insight into Manawhenua ki Mohua’s connection and history with the northern area,” says Wendy.
 
The new SAB will attend a retreat in the Park in December where they will have a chance to bond as a group, begin to think about the year ahead, and build their nature expertise through hands-on learning, exploring and doing.
As part of his research into place names in the Park, Project Janszoon Trustee and author Dr Philip Simpson has investigated the origins of many place names.  This time he branches out to look at the origins of mistletoe names.
There are six species of mistletoe found in the Abel Tasman and the Maori names nearly all relate to the plants parasitic habits.

Peraxilla colensoi or pirita
 
In Maori ‘piri’ means ‘attached to’ and refers to the fact that this mistletoe is a parasite on the beech tree, although it also has green leaves. The scarlet flowers are named korukoru, relating to the spectacular unfolding of the four petals. Maori bird hunters understood the role of tui in opening the flowers, a relationship that was eventually discovered by scientists in 1997.
Tupeia antarctica or tāpia, kohuorangi, pirinoa, pirita, tirau-riki

Tupeia has a very sticky seed viscum that is almost as sticky as PVA glue. In Maori pia means the gum of trees or the slime of hagfish and clearly refers to the sticky seeds. Ta has many meanings, it may be simply mean ‘to cause to stick’, but it can also mean ‘excrement’ and refer to the gum of the broken fruit or perhaps even the droppings of birds with the sticky seeds still present. Often ta means to strike or whip which could refer to birds wiping their beaks on branches to remove the gum. Ta also means hollow and concave and may refer to the common leaf shape. There is only one known specimen of Tupeia in the Park, growing on an old marbleleaf in swamp forest high up the Onetahuti Camp Stream.
 
The name Tupeia was first published in 1828 by Louis Charles Adelaïde Chamisseau de Boncourt and Diederich Franz Leonhard von Schlechtendal.  Chamisseau was a zoologist in the Russian "Rurik" circumnavigation in 1815-18.  The expedition spent time in the Society Islands where Cook and Banks had previously made contact with a Polynesian navigator called Tupaia (also known as Tupaea or Tupia c. 1725 – 1770).  He assisted Cook in New Zealand and was an important link with the Maori inhabitants. Tupeia antarctica was based on a specimen collected by Georg Forster on Cook’s second voyage and named Viscum antarctica. But Chamisseau renamed it Tupeia, combining the Māori name tāpia and Cook’s assistant Tupaia.
 
Pirita is a name given to other mistletoes too, piri meaning ‘attached to’. 
 
Tirau-riki : ‘tirau’ is a ‘bastard’, namely something that has grown without known origin, and riki indicates small clusters of branches scattered through another tree.
 
Kohuorangi : 'rangi is ‘in the sky’ or in this case up in a tree. Kohukohu is the name given to chickweed, an introduced plant that often grew in kumara gardens. Although valued as fertilizer and medicine it may have been seen as a ‘weed’ or curse. Hence the ‘curse of Rangi’ might be a reference to the parasitic habit.
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