Enviro Update - Current Environmental Issues on Great Barrier Island


Capturing your vision for the ecological future of Great Barrier Island Researchers Shirley Johnson and Marie McEntee have been contracted to undertake the first phase of capturing the breadth and diversity of people’s perspectives and vision for the island’s ecology. They will be contacting and communicating with both permanent and part-time residents so all members of the community have the opportunity to be involved in collaboratively creating a vision for Great Barrier’s ecological future. Find out more at www.gbiecologyvision.nz or contact them by email:engage@gbiecologyvision.nz

Community Pest Coordinator at Mulberry Grove
The Local Board has organised funding via Auckland Council to contract a pest coordinator for the community rodent control project at Mulberry Grove (formerly managed by Des Casey). Cathy Scott will be working with residents and land owners to set up a rodent control and monitoring programme in the residential area of Mulberry Grove. She is currently contacting land owners and updating all data from work previously undertaken.

Weed surveillance and control
Envirokiwi continue with their weed vigilance, targeting a range of total control invasive weeds across the island. These weeds are low incidence weeds that have the potential to become far more extensive if nothing is done about them, but may be kept to zero density or eradicated with control. Weed surveillance will start near Claris in April and gradually move down the island, with expert Karen Denyer, a plant ecologist with Papawera Consulting Ltd. Surveillance will also occur along the west coast between Mohunga Peninsular and Whangaparapara. Survey work occurs on private land with permission and on public land (DOC, Road Reserve, Marginal strips etc), targeting potential source areas such as nurseries, quarries, gardens and residential areas, and possible areas of weed entry like bush and wetlands margins, and other low stature vegetation eg coastal areas, road and track sides.

Argentine ants
Envirokiwi has also been contracted to continue with Argentine Ant control. All traditional sites have been monitored and treated. Kaitoke/Ocean View received an extra treatment this year as did the Blind Bay Road site. Several new sites have been identified as a result of vigilant locals and Envirokiwi staff. Some of these new sites are associated with existing sites ie occur adjacent to previously known sites but one at Okupu is geographically isolated.  We may be able to complete work at new sites with volunteer assistance in the coming weeks.

Rainbow skinks
Envirokiwi has been assisting Auckland Council contractors and students to manage the rainbow skink invasion. They have contained the skinks to the Shoal Bay wharf area but are continuing surveillance around the island. An area where soil material was removed from the wharf has been isolated with a ‘skink’ fence and monitored intensively and no rainbow skinks have been detected here. A physical containment barrier to skink movement has also been erected at Shoal Bay wharf to support trapping effort there.
Waste Minimisation
Facilitator Kate Lowe provided information and many ideas and suggestions were put forward by participants at the recent community Waste Minimisation meeting organised by Envirokiwi as part of their contract to Auckland Council for the Waste Minimisation Educator contract. The aim is to progress how waste is managed on our island and generate on island solutions to minimise our waste.

Surveillance for rodents and mustelids continues at wharves and transfer stations.

Freshwater monitoring
Regular fresh water quality testing and monitoring is about to begin in the Tryphena catchment area to gain a better understanding of issues pertaining to algae growth occurring in the harbour. This is an initiative of the Great Barrier Local Board and will take place over the next 24 months, providing us with a clearer picture of what is occurring and what can be done regarding our water quality.

Royal NZ Navy
GBIET were approached by the Royal NZ Navy to assist with an environmental trust and have contributed their time assisting with control of wattle weeds at the Kaitoke fire site in association with Auckland Council. If you would like to be involved in this project please contact GBIET.


Environmental News Issue 34 2015