Imagine – A SEABIRD MOUNTAIN!
…before humans arrived here – there were thousands of seabirds returning to breed each year on Karioi.
Anecdotal evidence suggest that petrels – including Black petrel /Taiko and Cook’s petrel /Titi were historically present at mid-to high altitudes on the slopes of Karioi, while Grey faced petrel / Oi inhabited the lower altitudes. Petrels are a native species of burrowing seabird that like many other seabirds and forest birds are vulnerable to predators such as; rats, stoats, possums and feral cats.
Since 2009 our community has been actively working together towards an integrated pest control program to re-establish Karioi as a seabird mountain. Currently we are implementing predator control to protect the remnant population of Oi that still burrow around the shorelines of Karioi, while a wider programme of predator control to restore forest birds is being scaled up on the mountain each year. Unless active pest management is in place to protect Oi nests from predators, existing populations are unlikely to survive. Oi are a “taonga species”, meaning they have special cultural significance to tangata whenua.
As a significant proportion of Karioi’s coastal area is privately owned, active and willing landowner participation is vital to providing effective predator control for Oi. As part of this project we will be working to bring together local volunteers and up to 160 landowners. Effective partnerships with stakeholders have been the key to this project’s current success and will be paramount to the expansion of this project.
For landowners that want to participate in the project, A Rocha can provide advice, training and extra hands through our network of volunteer supporters to help with predator control.
Where we work
Currently were focusing predator control (of stoats, rats and possums) along the coastline from Ngaruanui Beach to Te Toto Gorge. Additionally we have recently expanded our work to cover the mountains entire 2000 hectares – and have cut an additional 30 km of stoat trap lines and are in the process of deploying another 300 double set DOC200 traps. Each year we increase the area where we work as funds and support increases.