A busy 2019 ahead

For 2019, Taranaki Mounga and many other groups and organisations are working toward an increase in targeted predator control. Kaitake Range As noted in our September newsletter, the Kaitake Range already has over 250 predator traps on the Range, thanks to the dedicated Kaitake Ranges Conservation Trust volunteers. Our project, along with Taranaki Taku Turanga – Towards Predator-Free Taranaki, led by Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), are working closely in rural and urban areas around the Range, and with the many community groups in the area, to dramatically bring down predator numbers. In 2019, the…continue reading →

Virtual support from our citizen scientists

Mixing technology, conservation and education has proved popular for students at Omata School, Auroa School and citizen scientists from around the world. All these people are helping to identify predators in Egmont National Park and the Kaitake Range using open source technology. Called Zooniverse, the platform already has over 5,000 images from 36 sensor cameras loaded. Recently, more were uploaded specifically from our mounga. Stuart Bennett, Deputy Principal of Omata School says being amateur sleuths has helped grab the pupils’ attention on a serious problem. “Students seem to like the detective work needed…continue reading →

Collective aspirations for Kaitake Range

Bringing kākā and kiwi to the Kaitake Range is not a distant dream, but achievable through a multi-tool approach to restoring the biodiversity of this area. Seeing the forest flourish and having native birds like kākā visit gardens in Oakura is a goal we want to achieve. Our project along with Taranaki Taku Turanga - Towards Predator-Free Taranaki, led by Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), rural and urban areas around the range, and the many community groups in the area, are working hard to accomplish this target. A multi-tool approach to predator control will be conducted…continue reading →

Protecting our mounga enables toutouwai to return

One of the world’s most intensive rat and small rodent trapping networks is providing a safe haven for wildlife on Mt Taranaki, resulting in the release of more toutouwai / North Island robin back to mountain. The Taranaki Mounga environmental restoration project, Department of Conservation (DOC) and other partners have set up a network of 2,160 Goodnature A24 traps in a 1,000ha area on the eastern side of Mounga Taranaki below North Egmont. The A24 trap is a New Zealand innovation which resets itself up to 24 times per single CO2 canister. “The…continue reading →

A secret weapon in finding whio

Tai has been successfully sniffing out whio in Taranaki. A two-year-old male chocolate Labrador heading cross, Tai is one of the first Conservation Dogs certified to locate whio in the region and has helped to locate a record number of 64 whio chicks on eight rivers this season. The Department of Conservation’s (DOC) biodiversity ranger Joe Carson is thrilled with his effort and says Tai is their secret weapon. “He will find these rare native blue ducks in tiny holes and point to them. It was amazing to find 64 whio chicks. He…continue reading →

Record number of whio ducklings on Mounga

A record number of whio ducklings have been located on Mt Taranaki in what is proving to be a boom year for our rare native blue duck. 56 ducklings have been found by Department of Conservation rangers on the eight rivers that DOC surveys on the Mounga as part of the Whio Forever partnership with Genesis. DOC biodiversity ranger Joe Carson says on Monday 8 January three more young male ducks were released into the Waipuku Stream on the eastern side of Mt Taranaki, further boosting the whio population. “These three juvenile ducks…continue reading →

Great neigbours contribute to translocation success

As a tramper Jenny Kerrisk used to cover a lot of ground. It wasn’t till she began volunteering at the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, and more recently helping Taranaki Mounga bring back robin to Mt Taranaki, that she learnt to take her time in the bush. “I come from a tramping background so a lot of my attitude was ground covering A to B, but now I’ve learnt to take notice of the bush and wildlife, especially birds, like robin, tieke, and hihi, they’re all my favourites now,” she says. After eight years…continue reading →

Penguin cam a true team effort

Since the launch of “penguin cam” in October thousands of people from New Plymouth and around the world have been able to watch a live feed from a kororā/blue penguin burrow at Ngā Motu Beach. Ngā Motu Marine Reserve Society chairperson Anne Scott takes a look back at 20 years of advocating for marine conservation in the region. Anne Scott admits it was no mean feat to protect Nga Motu/Sugar Loaf Island’s coastline for future generations. “We were naive and had no idea it would take as long as it did but now…continue reading →

Volunteering provides connection with Mounga

Seeing native birds soar through Mt Taranaki’s bush has boosted Danny Robinson’s passion for conservation. ‘The mountain is special. I’m in awe of the huge trees and amazing bird life. The constant bird calls set your mind at ease,’ he says. Danny is one of a group of volunteers who have spent time monitoring toutouwai/robin on Mt Taranaki in the last couple of months. He ventured up the Mounga three times, looking for the birds with 17 other Taranaki volunteers. Danny was inspired to volunteer with Taranaki Mounga’s bird monitoring team by a…continue reading →

Toutouwai/robin breeding on Mounga

We are celebrating after news toutouwai/North Island robin are breeding on Mt Taranaki after being extinct from the area for 112 years. Recent monitoring in a 1000 hectare block of forest on the Mounga that has intense rat trapping located three pairs of toutouwai with chicks in their nests. The birds are among the 50 robins released into the area in April this year, and are the first species the project re-introduced. “We are ecstatic the robins have stayed and are breeding - it’s a testament to the exceptional work of the team.…continue reading →

Join the Taranaki Mounga team

The Department of Conservation is currently advertising an exciting new role to support the Taranaki Mounga Project, this is an amazing opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the environment in Taranaki. https://careers.doc.govt.nz/jobs/DOC-400-250TE The Taranaki Mounga project aims to restore the ecological vitality of Mt Taranaki in partnership with iwi, agencies and the local community. The focus is to secure the Mounga against animal and weed pests, restore species and build community support and commitment. We are seeking a Biodiversity Co-ordinator for a two year fixed term contract.  To be successful in this…continue reading →

Penguin Cam streaming live from blue penguin burrow

A live Penguin Cam streaming on our website will give the public  a unique 24 / 7 view of the world’s smallest penguin. To the best of our knowledge this is the only live webcam in New Zealand streaming from a blue penguin burrow.  The Ngā Motu Marine Reserve Society, Chaddy’s Charters, PrimoWireless, George Mason Charitable Trust and True Sense of Security Ltd have all contributed to getting the live webcam up and running. Department of Conservation senior biodiversity ranger and Taranaki Mounga team member Emily King says Penguin Cam is located in…continue reading →

Conservation week poetry competition

As part of Conservation Week DOC is having a Conservation Poem Competition. Here's a taste with two of the entries - you can see the poems at the North Egmont Visitors Centre from Saturday 14 October until Wednesday 18 October 8.30am - 4pm.   Conservation - by Helen Griffiths >16 yrs  Big change begins with a few small acts. CONSERVATION -Let’s face the facts. Make time to care, it’s not that hard But what to do? Love your backyard! Stop! Take a look; treasure your space And then your world’s a better place.  …continue reading →

Legends of Conservation Mountain Adventure Race for kids

Saturday October 14 - briefing at 9.30am, starts 10am - finishes midday.  This event is aimed at primary and intermediate kids and their adult helpers. If you have a family team and one or two of your family are at high school that’s okay - they can be in your team. Teams: -Your team may be a school team, a family team or a group of friends. -You can have up to 6 people in your team but two of these must be adults over 18. -This means a 6 person team will…continue reading →

Toutouwai release an environmental wake-up call

As he prepares to join other volunteers to monitor toutouwai/robin on the Mounga, Hoani Eriwata reflects on the importance of teaching our young people about the importance of being environmental guardians. Releasing toutouwai/North Island robin on Mt Taranaki was an environmental wake-up call, according to Hoani Eriwata. “It was a spiritual moment - a family connection,” admits the Te Atiawa iwi representative. “The closest thing we can do to get back to nature is introducing species to the Mounga.” Hoani travelled to Pureora Forest (Ngati Rereahu) to help catch 50 birds that were…continue reading →

Mounga visits inspiring young people

Rangatahi (young people) are being given the chance to explore Mount Taranaki through a new wellness project that aims to increase their connection to the mountain. Taranaki Mounga is considering how to best support the pilot health project which is a joint venture between local health provider Tui Ora and Department of Conservation (DOC). The project is boosting 10-12-year-olds self-worth which is crucial to communities, says Devon Intermediate Principal Jenny Gellen. “It’s an awakening as the kids don’t realise their potential and now they’re learning,” says Mrs Gellen. Being taken on field trips…continue reading →

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 →
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