Published 08 June 2021 11:3737
KIWI, long-tailed and short-tailed bats were discovered as part of the Eastern Whio Link (EWL) project.
Sam Gibson, East Coast Catchment Coordinator for the NZ Landcare Trust and founder of EWL, said the discovery means work must be done to support kiwi breeding to keep the bird from moving out of the Koranga, Kahunui and upper Waioeka catchment areas is lost.
“I was outside in the hut cooking food and one evening we heard a kiwi chirp. . . we looked at each other and thought: ‘No, that won’t work’. Then we heard a female kiwi answer. It was so cool to hear her in there. We know old reports from Kiwi in the EWL project area, but we had never heard of them. “
Students from the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology went into the project area and set up acoustic recorders to listen for kiwis and bats on 3000 hectares of arable land and forestry.
NZ Landcare Trust, River of Man Adventures, EWL and Paddy Stewart of Red Admiral Ecology team up to achieve the largest community-led surveillance operation on the east coast.
The results show that kiwi are low in numbers throughout the catchment area. There were more men than women on the pitch, and it would be fair to say it’s a remaining, fragmented population, Gibson said.
They found both long-tailed and short-tailed bats. Short-tailed bats were found on one of the landowners’ farms, which is very exciting, he said.
Bats are attacked by cats, rats, and sometimes possums.
You can switch sleeping trees every one or two nights to avoid natural predators like Ruru (Morepork) who will find out where they live.
“This behavior means that in order to support bats, we must implement rat, opossum and wildcat control in large landscapes,” said Gibson.
Other birds found included the white-headed, cockatoo, and karerea (falcons), as well as a selection of other forest birds.
The groups will have a catchment area on June 18 to unpack the data and plan their next steps.
MONITORING THE KIWI: Tui Toka-Riki, a student at Toiohomai Institute of Technology, sets up an acoustic monitor to see if there are any kiwis in the area. Image by Eastern Whio Link
TEAMWORK: Paddy Stewart of Red Admiral Ecology and Peter Swann, the conservation project manager of the Mangaotane Trust, set up an acoustic monitoring device in a tree. Image by Eastern Whio Link
AN ACOUSTIC MONITORING DEVICE
HEARING: An audible monitoring device that picks up the sounds of wildlife. Image by Eastern Whio Link