Volunteers wanted for bird monitoring

Taranaki Mounga and Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust are calling on the public to help out with bird monitoring to gauge the success of recent bird translocations. In the run up to the spring breeding season, both Rotokare and Taranaki Mounga want to get an accurate idea of the toutouwai/robin population on Mt Taranaki and hihi and toutouwai populations at Rotokare. We are calling on volunteers to help out by monitoring lines on both Mt Taranaki and at the Rotokare Reserve looking and listening out for birds. Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust Site Manager Fiona…continue reading →

Rat trapping helping bring forest back to life

The sight of bright orange berries littering the forest floor on Mt Taranaki is an encouraging sign the Mounga is taking its first steps towards coming back to life. These photos showing Comprosma berries on the ground were taken in the area of the national park where 50 toutouwai/robin were released in April. A network of 2,160 Goodnature A24 self resetting rat traps have been deployed over 1,000ha in the area – the largest network of these traps in the world. Taranaki Mounga Project Manager Sean Zieltjes and DOC Senior Biodiversity Ranger Emily King…continue reading →

World’s largest rat trapping network completed by community

We were absolutely delighted to have the world's largest ever network of self-resetting rat traps completed today as part of a trapping training day on the Mounga. Thirty traps were installed to complete the network of 2,160 traps over 1,000ha on the mountain. It is the largest area of the rat traps ever deployed and was set-up to protect the 50 toutouwai/robin we recently released on Mt Taranaki after a 110 year absence. Project Director for Taranaki Mounga, Jan Hania, says the trapping training day provided an opportunity for the community to upskill and…continue reading →

Taranaki conservation projects win at Green Ribbon awards

Taranaki Mounga is honoured to have won the Philanthropy and Partnership category in this years Green Ribbon Awards. The awards are New Zealand’s most prestigious environmental awards and recognise exceptional work to conserve New Zealand’s unique environment and species for generations to come. Taranaki Mounga chairman Jamie Tuuta says he was delighted to accept the award amongst so many deserving environmental groups. “Our fellow finalists Genesis Energy Whio Forever and Project Crimson have long track records in protecting New Zealand’s environment and I would like to acknowlege their great work. Taranaki Mounga works in collaboration with many…continue reading →

Taranaki Mounga finalist in Green Ribbon Awards

Environmental restoration project Taranaki Mounga is delighted to have been named a finalist in the 2017 prestigious Green Ribbon Environmental Awards. Taranaki Mounga joins Genisis Energy Whio Forever and Project Crimson’s Treemendous School Makeover as finalists in the Philanthropy and Partnership category. This category recognises the important role that partnerships and philanthropy play in helping achieve environment and conservation outcomes. Taranaki Mounga Director Jan Hania says it is humbling to be recognised so early into the project which will ecologically transform an area including Egmont National Park and offshore islands of Taranaki over…continue reading →

Myrtle Rust in Taranaki – what you should know

The fungal plant disease myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) has been confirmed at Waitara in Taranaki and Kerikeri in Northland by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in May 2017. Myrtle rust can have serious consequences for various species of plants in the myrtle family, including New Zealand native plants such as: Pōhutukawa Ramarama Rata Rōhutu Mānuka Swamp maire Kānuka   Introduced plants including, feijoa, eucalypts and bottle brushes are also susceptible to myrtle rust. DOC is working closely with MPI trying to restrict the spread of the disease. DOC staff are actively looking…continue reading →

Taranaki Kiwi Trust plays vital role in rebuilding Mt Taranak’s kiwi population

Taranaki Mounga is delighted to be working with the Taranaki Kiwi Trust on its project to re-establish a viable kiwi population on Mt Taranaki. The Otorohanga Captive breeding programme released five adult kiwi into Egmont National Park on Saturday 13 May. All five kiwi were fitted with transmitters before entering their new homes. “Monitoring these birds provides an opportunity to gain valuable information about how the Western Brown Kiwi responds post release, which can help with decisions about future kiwi releases, both on M.t Taranaki but also in areas with small founding populations”, said…continue reading →

Taranaki locals needed for citizen science project

Taranaki Mounga wants the public to report sightings of the 50 toutouwai/robin that were released on Mt Taranaki last month. The robins were translocated from Pureora Forest Park to the northern slopes of Mt Taranaki after a 110 year absence from the mountain.  Taranaki Mounga director Jan Hania says there have already been reports of toutouwai being seen near Holly Hut and the Ahukawakawa Swamp near the Pouakai ranges. “Locals can help us better protect the toutouwai/robin by letting us know where they see them.  The best thing is the birds are really quite friendly, especially if you scuff…continue reading →

Project Hotspot a blueprint for citizen science

Taranaki Mounga’s new citizen science project to track toutouwai/robin in Taranaki is based on a sucessful project launched by Project Hotspot to support the conservation of threatened coastal species in the region.  Ask Dr Emily Roberts what the key to Project Hotspot’s success is and she will tell you it all began with one specific species - Orca. “Orca have really been a great point of interest. They are so charasmatic and to be able to come up with positive outcomes that can help orca and other species has really harnessed peoples imaginations,”…continue reading →

Great neigbours contribute to translocation success

As the saying goes “everyone needs good neighbours” and Taranaki Mounga certainly has nearby Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust to thank, in a large part, for the success of the recent toutouwai/robin release. Rotokare staff and volunteers have so far spent an estimated 1,300 volunteer hours helping with the toutouwai translocation. Along with DOC, Taranaki Mounga and iwi they were involved in supporting the planning, pre-feeding and catching of birds at Pureora Forest, the translocation, and post-release monitoring. Sanctuary Manager Simon Collins says helping other conservation projects is part of the ethos of the…continue reading →

50 toutouwai/robin now call Mt Taranaki home

A further 14 toutouwai/North Island robin have been released on Mt Taranaki on Tuesday 11 April, meaning a total of 50 birds have been translocated from Pureora Forest Park to Mt Taranaki in the last 3 days. The toutouwai are the first species to be returned by environmental project Taranaki Mounga.  36 birds were released on the northern slopes of the mountain on Sunday, and this further release brings the total to 50. Reports from people walking in the release area a day after the first release were that the forest was alive with the sound…continue reading →

Toutouwai/robin returned to Mt Taranaki after 110 years

The sound of toutouwai/North Island robin will once again be heard on Mt Taranaki after 36 birds were released on the Mounga on Sunday 9 April after a 110-year absence. The (manu) birds were translocated to Mt Taranaki from Pureora Forest Park. They are the first species to be returned by environmental project Taranaki Mounga, which was launched in 2016. Taranaki Mounga chairman Jamie Tuuta says returning toutouwai to the Mounga is a symbolic milestone for the project. “If you stand on Mt Taranaki now you do not hear a lot of birdsong.…continue reading →

Community pitching in to bring tōutōwai/robin back to Taranaki

From pre-schoolers to petroleum workers - the Taranaki community is pitching in to bring tōutōwai/North Island robin back to Mt Taranaki. Mealworms are being farmed at over a dozen Taranaki schools, Shell NZ offices and in private homes to feed the tōutōwai/North Island robin that will be reintroduced to Mt Taranaki in April. The birds are being returned after an over 110 year absence by ecological restoration project, Taranaki Mounga. Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle and are a popular food with many bird species. “Robins find mealworms delicious,” says DOC…continue reading →

Mealworms – all you need to know

Tōutōuwai / robin find mealworms – the larval form of the mealworm beetle – very tasty. Taranaki Mounga has enlisted the help of the community, including local schools and businesses, to help grow mealworms to be used for the robin translocation. The mealworms will be used to help capture the robin at Pureora Forest Park, in the central north island. They will then be fed to the birds in their new home on Mt Taranaki in order to keep them in the translocation area. Mealworm farming Mealworms are relatively easy to look after…continue reading →

Taranaki Kiwi Trust making a difference

Taranaki Mounga is delighted to work with conservation groups like the Taranaki Kiwi Trust who are making a real difference to conservation.   Two juvenile kiwi released in December on Mt Taranaki will be closely monitored to learn more about how kiwi are doing in Egmont National Park. The two kiwi are the first of 10 being released by the Taranaki Kiwi Trust over the next few months. The Trust will track the birds using transmitters for at least the first year of their release. Taranaki Kiwi Trust Chair Sue Hardwick-Smith says trust members feel…continue reading →

Thanks Pureora Forest Park

The tōutōuwai/robin expected to be translocated to Mt Taranaki next year will come from Pureora Forest Park, in the Waikato. The park is recognised as one of the finest rain forests in the world, with many thousand-year-old podocarp trees. Taranaki Mounga director Jan Hania, along with chairman Jamie Tuuta, and iwi Chairs representative Hemi Sundgren recently visited Pureora and met with representatives from the local iwi, Ngati Rereahu. “We were really impressed with the local iwi’s commitment to the preservation of Pureora and the abundant bird populations. They were well steeped in the…continue reading →

Extension of stoat trapping network underway

Contractors have been busy on the mountain recently, cutting the first stage of new tracks for the extension of the stoat trapping network. When completed the range of protected habitat for whio and kiwi will be extended by 32km’s to nearly 160km’s of stoat control. In this picture the yellow lines show the existing network and the red lines the extensions.continue reading →

Robin release on target

Planning for next years’ tōutōuwai/robin release is well underway meaning their song will soon be heard again on the Mounga. It is hoped between 40 to 60 robin will be translocated in April from Pureora Forest Park, in the middle of the north island. Taranaki Mounga is working together with DOC, iwi and nearby Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust. Early connections with iwi from Pureora have been very positive, growing further relationships beyond the region. DOC’s Senior Biodiversity Ranger Emily King says the last record of a robin being seen on Mt Taranaki was…continue reading →

Monitoring important aspect of predator control

As different methods of predator control are used in the national park the Taranaki Mounga team are monitoring predator and wildlife numbers so we can assess their success. One of the first projects for Taranaki Mounga is an extension of the stoat trapping network. At the same time DOC is undertaking an aerial 1080 operation this year as part of its Battle for our Birds pest control programme. Controlling these predators on the Mounga will allow us to undertake our first bird translocation of robin/tōutōuwai next autumn. Pre-operation monitoring in August found the…continue reading →

Trap design project motivates students

A collaboration between design technology students and Taranaki Mounga has resulted in some innovative new trap designs that will be trialed on Mt Taranaki. The New Plymouth Girls High School students were tasked with designing and building trap boxes for Taranaki Mounga’s extension of the stoat trapping network.   They each earned six NCEA credits for their work. New Plymouth Girls High School design technology teacher Barry Marnoch says the girls loved that they were working on a real project, for the benefit of the community. “The students were genuinely interested in the project…continue reading →