Friday, November 7, 2014
For these that have been walking over the pedestrian bridge and wondering what we have been building with all those rocks, well it is a habitat for our native copper skinks. Skinks get hammered by domestic cats and mice in urban areas. The plan is that the skinks will increase in numbers by having protection among the rocks from cats and protection from mice by our poisoning program. There will be further planting around the rocks to finish off the overall design.
We have had safety concerns for some time about public using our service tracks that we have built. We have installed signs at all three entry points warning the track users of safety issues to be aware of in the gully. Mangaiti Trust is quite happy that the public use the tracks / board walks but also appreciate that they are not suitable for people that may not be stable on their feet.
Although most of our rat control is with the 12 bait stations through which rats ate 342 baits in the last 12 months, nothing surpasses the satisfaction of actually catching a rat in one of our two traps that we have. We caught 15 in the last 12 months.
We were approached by a local resident to see, if they built a seat, whether we would be interested in installing it. Here is the result. The resident, who did not wish to be named, reserves the right to read the Sunday paper there between 7am and 9am on Sunday mornings, weather permitting!! It has been positioned so that it looks out on some of the best restored area in the gully.
You will see that some of the willows have been colour coded. These are the ones we have bored and injected with glyphosate. As they die it is going to look a bit shabby until the native canopy trees grow up and take their place. The canopy trees have all been planted. This will be a gradual process until they have all died and fall down to rot.
We would like to thank Downer for their ongoing support in supplying “Millings” to shingle our tracks with. This is a particularly good product in that it packs down and does not wash out when flooding occurs over our tracks. Whenever we require a load we ring up and they are always happy to deliver it to us free of charge.
Bruno David and his team from WRC did a second survey of the Mangaiti Gully stream in Hamilton. The last one was done two years ago. There was nothing spectacular found in the 150 meters of stream surveyed. It was a concern that the eel numbers had dropped. Outside the survey area up a ponded tributary behind Sexton Road a significant number of Banded Kokopu were found. It is important that our city streams are protected from contaminants to ensure the health of our native fish.