Date: 17 October 2012
Sitings of large flocks of tūī at Hatepe, 15 minutes south of Taupō, beautifully demonstrates the success of a local community predator trapping effort.
The Hatepe Residents Association have 100 baited rat cafes around the Hatepe village.
Local conservationist David Cade, known to the community as ‘Didymo Dave,’ and his son Hadlee personally trap a 3 km stretch of the Hinemaiaia River with an additional 125 DOC 200 predator traps. Since their project started in 2008 with 8 traps, they have trapped 682 rats, stoats and weasels. David funds the project with other conservation initiatives such as tying and selling stoat flies made from stoat tails, and picking up aluminium cans on the side of the road and swapping them for cash.
Holiday maker Andrew Mercer from the Manawatu exclaims, “I have never seen flocks of 50 plus tūī before, but last week at Hatepe we would see them flying above the village several times a day. It was great to be able to show my three children 20 tūī in a kōwhai tree all chasing each other around. The bird song was amazing not just at dawn but throughout the day. Could you please pass on my congratulations to those who were involved in this project.”
The Hinemaiaia River may quickly become a popular fishing spot for more than just the trout.
Count the tūī in the kōwhai tree!