Chopper Makes Light Work of It
by Judy Gilbert
 

The expansion of the sanctuary area at Windy Hill and Rosalie Bay had a big boost recently with 3000 kilos of new equipment flown by helicopter to three sites just north of Rosalie Bay. Three more blocks of coastal property have been added to the Sanctuary bringing the area intensively managed for feral cats, rats, and pigs to around 700 hectares.

Over the last 2 years the field team working in the existing Sanctuary area has had to backpack the heavy wooden stations to replace the original plastic trap covers. This has been slow and arduous work with three and a half thousand boxes located over a 450 ha area. The chopper carted in 5 pallets carrying 2500 boxes and a large bin full of traps and bait for the new Rosalie Bay pest project area in just 25 minutes!

It has taken 18 months for field worker Dean Medland to meticulously construct 18 kilometers of tracks in the new project area on which the pest management equipment will be located. Over the next 8-10 weeks the field team of Kevin Parsons, Rachel Wakefield, Mick Butterworth and Mallory Thompson will deploy the boxes, baits, and traps on the tracks at 25m metre intervals before an initial knockdown of pests is carried out.

The Trust thanks sponsors ARC and Lotteries Environment for funding the labour, equipment, and helicopter. Thank you also to Gt Barrier Cartage for the use of a large bin to transport loose equipment and Kelvin Floyd for the GPS mapping of the new area.

At 700 hectares the Trust has achieved its long held goal of establishing a sanctuary area of this size and now will work towards further restoration of the area though continued pest management, threatened species protection, and reintroduction of species lost to the island.
Dean Medland and Rachel Wakefield
-not so far to walk.