Just a quick update on our research and collaborations: we’ve been working with Auckland Zoo on the monitoring on rats, which is great, especially in the long term, to see how we are tracking with our predator control. We all know creating a safe habitat for our birds is important. Especially in a wetland, caring for our ponds, rivers and streams is equally important but sometimes overlooked. Luckily we are working with a great team to help us:

Abigail Kuranchie, PhD Student at Institute of Natural and Mathematical Science, Massey University supervised by Dianne Brunton, is doing her PhD on the evolution of ponds, and as we have three of different ages on the site, she was very interested to include us in her research. Her aim is to monitor the water quality and macroinvertebrates diversity of both the new and established ponds. This is vital because water quality influences the types of macroinvertebrates that occur in a pond. Also, macroinvertebrates serve as food for many of native birds found in the reserve. Abigail has been coming to our project for a year, and we’re excited to hear the results and how we do compared to other sites around Auckland.

Our friends from Whitebait Connection, especially Sophie Mcleod are doing fish, invertebrate and water monitoring. In the coming months, she will sample koura (sweet water cray fish) in traditional koura whakaweku made from bundles of ferns (more info here) and do some fish trapping and spotlighting. This will give us more information on what is inhabiting our streams, pods and rivers so we can protect them better and in a couple of years, monitor how well we’re doing and how much it has improved.

On a recent working bee visit by Auckland University students, many studying forms of energy generation, we started talking about a water turbine… who knows, we might even have a fish-safe water turbine designed by Auckland University soon!

Our own superduper recently installed wastewater cleaning system, the Natural Flow 8000, is connected to the house and releasing nutrients to our plants. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for the barn toilets to be connected, as we’re working though the consenting process with Auckland Council. But once connected, the water coming out on the other end of our Natural Flow system, will be of drinkable quality, a benefit for us and for our native wildlife.

Annalily & the trustees

PS Let me know if you are specifically interested in outcomes of any of these projects, and I’ll keep you posted!

Credits: the nice images are taken by our voluntary professional photographers Jacqui Geux and Stefan Marks, the snapshots by Annalily!