Braided River Project
Thanks to the hard work of Rusty and his workers building trap boxes and putting the traps in the field there are now 593 RDWT stoat traps covering approximately 120 kms beside the Rees and Dart Rivers.
Kill score so far is 41 mustelids (stoats and weasels) and 17 rats.
This was a huge undertaking often in very hot weather so it’s great to have Rusty’s dedication.
Early trapped predator data
We now have 595 of our target 601 traps in position. We have yet to do our final checks, set ups and counts before the set up phase of our project is complete. Despite this we have some early data from the traps. The image shows these data.
Bird count data
We now have the report from the bird count/survey from the end of last year. We will repeat it in 2018 and 2019. The map shows the areas of the rivers we surveyed – in one kilometre sections.
Traps being placed
Rusty Varcoe is currently placing the traps along the Dart and Rees rivers. The low resolution image shows the trap lines.
Trap boxes well underway
Helen popped in to see Russel this weekend and caught up on progress. Our trap boxes for the Braided River Project are well underway and we’re one step closer to that predator free goal. Great work Rusty.
Bird count underway on Dart River
With the help of contractors Mike and Pat from WMIL (Wildlife Management International Limited) the RDWT held its first braided river bird survey over this weekend. We were blessed with great weather and willing volunteers to achieve our goal of walking approximately 20 km stretches of both the Rees and the Dart rivers finishing at the delta.
All expected species of birds were encountered in varying numbers – black billed gull, wrybill, black fronted tern, black backed gull, South Island pied oyster catcher, wrybill and banded dotterel. An unexpected sighting of a godwit on the Paradise Beach (before the start of the survey) was a bonus!
On receipt of the written report on our findings from WMIL we will have a baseline population to work from. Surveys will be done yearly for the next two years and then at longer intervals.
Braided Rivers project
We are delighted to announce that Russell Varcoe from Glenorchy, has won the contract to help us with the set up phase of the Braided Rivers project. We had many high quality applicants. We are currently finalising the contract and a timetable for this crucially important phase of our project. We look forward to working with Russell in the weeks and months ahead.
Otago Daily Times
Following its feature article about the trust in March of this year, the Otago Daily Times has published a follow up article. Thank you to the ODT.
Wonderful news for our Braided Rivers project. We have been awarded $100,000 by Central Lakes Trust. Thank you to the CLT. This means we have the capital funds to trap on the Dart and Rees rivers. We are now midway through a recruitment process for a contractor to do the work for us. All the applicants are excellent. It will be a tough decision.
Eiji Kitai walks Te Araroa and supports the RDWT
Eiji Kitai, a Greenstone Track hut warden from Queenstown, is spending four months this summer walking the Te Araroa Trail enjoying the environment, meeting new people and spreading the word about the projects of the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust. Starting in September, he will spend two months in the North Island and then, after his summer employment, resume walking in April – to complete the South Island section of the trail by the end of May. Eiji has met many Te Araroa walkers over the years as they pass through his hut. This inspired him to head out and experience the 3000 km walk himself. If you want to help Eiji support the RDWT, please go to the RDWT website and donate. One cent a kilometre is $30, ten cents is $300. Follow his progress here or on our Facebook page.