Current Volunteer Opportunities – September 2012


New Volunteer Opportunities with the Poutiri Ao O Tane Project

Good afternoon.

At last volunteer opportunities for this project are ramping up.  It is all go – kakariki and kaka are on their way.  Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped so far.  Nest boxes have been built and are in place, aviaries are looking very inviting – from a kaka perspective!  The small black catching bags carefully sewn with french seams are being christened next week on Mana Island.  Thanks also to those who are taking annual leave next week so they can help us with the grunt work.

We now have another 6 volunteer opportunities available over the spring and summer months. For those considering the logistics of it all, there is a fully equipped 3 bedroom house at the Boundary Stream Field Base available for use, but you will need to bring your own food and linen.

Please read on and see if there are any projects that appeal. When replying please ensure you state clearly which project you are interested in and what experience you have.  Some opportunities require a high level of skill, others quite basic.  Where a high skill level is required preference will be given to those with experience. 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon


Kakariki Release

When:  21st September 2012, midday (Planned but could vary)

Where:  Tumanako Carpark, Boundary Stream

Skill Level:  Easy

Fitness Level:  Moderate

What:  10 Volunteers – need to be fit, able to carry a box of birds and be able to walk easily off track, deep into the bush of Boundary Stream.

The plan is to capture kakariki from Mana Island and bring them in boxes up to Boundary Stream where they will be released in different areas. The weather and catching success on Mana Island could influence the date and time of release.

After a welcome and blessing, volunteers will walk 11 boxes of kakariki deep into the bush of Boundary Stream. The remaining birds will be released closer to the carpark with easy access for public.


Kakariki Monitoring

When: 23rd September 2012 to end of March 2013

Where: Boundary Stream and environs

Skill Level:  High

Fitness Level:  High

What: These volunteers will be fit and able to move quickly through the bush and they will have good bush skills. They will be able to visually ID kakariki, know their calls and be able to read bird bands.

We need to undertake as much monitoring as possible and would welcome volunteers who can commit on a regular ongoing basis.  There is potential for a group of volunteers to take ownership of this project and run with it. 

Ideally we would prefer stays of a week or regular weekends. Depending on your skill and the season, you may be asked to assist with other bird monitoring.


Kakariki Nest Success Monitoring

When:  Spring and Summer 2012/2013

Where:  Boundary Stream and Environs

Skill Level:  Moderate

Fitness Level:  Moderate to high

What:  We are looking at doing nest success monitoring once we have spotted a nest!  We are looking for volunteers who have had experience in doing this already. However we are hopeful there may be opportunities to be mentored by experienced nest monitors.

You will have a reasonable level of fitness, be able to commit on a regular basis and have the patience of a saint. If interested please provide your level of experience.


Planting Day

When:  15th September 2012; 9:45am on site to 1:00pmWhere:  Travel north from Napier up to Tutira. Turn L at the Tutira Store onto Matahorua Road. Continue ½ km past the turn off to Pohokura Road (that takes you to Boundary Stream). The planting  is on the L, visible from the road.

Skill Level: Easy

Fitness Level:  Low

What:  This is the first of a number of volunteer planting days that will be happening in the area. We have 2000 plants to get into the ground. It is a great opportunity to bring the family, a picnic lunch and enjoy a day out. You need to bring your own spade.  You may also prefer to bring your own gardening gloves too.

As this is also a Conservation Week activity, please regsiter your interest with DOC on (06) 834 3111.


Kaka Feeding

When: 26th September till mid summer when the kaka are released.Where: Tumanako Carpark

Skill Level: Easy

Fitness Level: Low

What:  This opportunity will suit many of us, as the skill and fitness level required is low. You will be taught everything about collecting and mixing appropriate food, how to clean the aviaries and look after the welfare of the birds.  Also it is an ideal project to start building your own bird monitoring skills if you wish to take things further.

We would prefer volunteers who could commit to a longer stint – ideal would be 8 day periods. Starting on Wednesday and finish the following Wednesday after handing over to the next team.

We only need one volunteer for this task but we would welcome partners as well so the family could enjoy their stay and take time to explore the area. While working with the kaka  you will have time to practise reading bird bands, teach your self bird ID and learning their calls.

If you are keen, please provide periods with number of days you could be available. 

NEWS FLASH – A kaka feeding training day will be undertaken, Sunday 16th September 2012.  Please contact us if you would like to be involved.


Kaka Feeding Roster

When:  Now until the kaka are released

Where:  Can do this from home

Skill Level:  Computer literate

Fitness Level:  Low

What:  There is a fair bit of coordination required to manage the ongoing number of kaka feeders. This position includes creating a roster that ensures the kaka have feeders everyday, sorting comings and goings and ensuring there is accommodation space. It is likely we will have a fair few volunteers coming and going over the next few months.

This person would ideally have a computer at home, be comfortable with emailing and using Excel or Word to maintain a roster. There would potentially be a few phone calls required. They need to be a clear communicator and be able to juggle.


Want To Learn More?

If you are interested and don’t have much experience there are things you can do to gain these skills.  I mentioned in the kaka feeding project, that there was down time that you could use to explore the area.  You could also dust off your binoculars and try to identify birds and read their bands if they have them, bring a CD of bird calls and see who you can identify.

Another option is to complete some of the free web based training that the Department of Conservation provides. 





Pan Pac timber donation

Pan Pac donations of nest box timber for seabirds. One of the bigger projects for Poutiri Ao ō Tāne is the translocation or moving of the petrel species back to theMaungaharuruRange.

The range was once the breeding site for millions of burrowing seabirds.  Our focus over the last 18 months has been on the planning necessary for this to happen. The success of this project will literally turn back the clock and help restore the mauri (life force) of the Maungaharuru Range.

Translocations of two petrel species will begin over the next twelve months. We will transfer Cook’s petrel (titi) chicks from Hauturu (Little Barrier Island) and Mottled petrel (kori) chicks from Whenua Hou (CodfishIsland).  By transferring chicks from their natal burrow before they emerge, to an artificial one at the new site, they imprint on that new site and most will return to there to breed.

Seabird translocations are an expensive business. One particularly significant cost is the material needed to construct the 200 artificial burrows that the chicks will be placed in. The burrows are in the form of wooden boxes which are buried in the ground with a plastic pipe for a tunnel entrance.

Pan Pac Forestry Ltd is one of our strategic partners and when they heard of our need for timber for the burrows they stepped forward and donated what was required.

Brett Gilmore from Pan Pac says “It is great to be able to further support the project with the wood for the petrel boxes. It is a win-win. The boxes are made of a new product; Thermo modified timber or TMT, which improves many aspects of pine including its durability. Pan Pac wants to see how it performs in a harsh environment especially since it hasn’t been preservative treated.  And the petrel get a new home.”

The next step was to turn the timber into artificial burrows.  This is where our volunteers Owen Rees, Paul Exeter and Ted Angrove came to the fore.  These three members of the Napier Tramping Club have been volunteering for DOC for a number of years.  More recently they have extended their commitment to Poutiri.

The three of them have turned their hand to constructing the boxes and while it may seem like a daunting task to some they picked up hammer and saw and went for it.  A number of burrows are now ready for installing at the seabird site up on theMaungaharuruRange in spring. We will be needing   help to do this!  If anyone is interested, then simply fill out the volunteer registration form on this website if you haven’t already and we will get back to you.


Kaka chick death

Sad news … attempts to rehabilitate a kākā chick found on a track by DOC staff in Whirinaki forest were unsuccessful.

Initial care was undertaken by Ian Drysdale and his bird rescue team at Whakatane. With the blessing of local iwi Te Runanga O Ngati Whare the bird was taken to Otorohanga Kiwi House for further care with the hope that it could eventually become part of the national captive breeding programme.

Regretfully the chick succumbed to disease in spite of the best efforts of the team. It was found to have a fungal infection (aspergillosis) that it would have picked up before being found by field staff. Aspergillus is common in the environment. Birds catch aspergillus when feeding or sifting through mouldy litter and vegetation – inhaling spores. Young, old and stressed birds are more susceptible. It is not transferrable between birds.


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If you’d like to know more about Poutiri we’d love to hear from you!

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