Introduction

More than 400 bags, filled with goodies for boaties and campers, are among the latest weapons being used by Project Island Song to keep the islands of the eastern Bay of Islands pest-free.

Date:  05 December 2013

More than 400 bags, filled with goodies for boaties and campers, are among the latest weapons being used by Project Island Song to keep the islands of the eastern Bay of Islands pest-free.

Department of Conservation (DOC), Far North District Partnerships Ranger Helen Ough Dealy says these islands have been completely pest-free for 19 months.

"This is quite an achievement since more than 100,000 people visit them each year and rats and stoats can easily reinvade by swimming across from the mainland. This is the fourth year that these goody bags have been put together. They will be handed out by:

  • volunteers on wharves and ramps around the mainland coast;
  • boaties to other boaties out on the water;
  • camp hosts at the Urupukapuka Island campgrounds to the campers;
  • local people kayaking out to talk to boaties on anchor in the various mainland bays."

Russell locals Linda McGuire, Maria Schmutzler and Fran Nixon joined forces with Helen Ough Dealy and Pauline Moretti (DOC Partnerships Rangers) recently to put together the bags.

Putting together the boaty bags.
From left: Helen Ough Dealy (DOC), Russell local Linda McGuire, and Pauline Moretti (DOC) putting together the 'boaty bags'

Each bag contains information about

  • ways people can help keep the islands pest-free
  • where to find the mobile rubbish collection barge
  • how to identify an Argentine ant – a potential threat to the islands' pest-free status;
  • where and what the rahui in Deep Water Cove is
  • other material useful to boaties and campers visiting the Bay over the summer months

"A big thanks needs to go to Cater Marine Opua who sponsored biosecurity messaging on their tide timetable and Burnsco Opua for donating floating key rings, also with the Stop, Check, Go (and have fun) messaging," Helen says.

If you would like to help keep the islands pest-free by handing out the boaty bags, give Helen a call on +64 9 407 0300.

These free bags are available on request from Helen Ough Dealy hodealy@doc.govt.nz

Background information

Project Island Song is a partnership between Guardians of the Bay of Islands Trust, Te Rawhiti hapu (Ngati Kuta and Patu Keha) and DOC.

DOC carried out eradication of rats, stoats and mice on Motuarohia, Moturua, Motukiekie, Urupukapuka, Waewaetoria, Poroporo and Okahu Islands in June 2009.

The public can get involved by

  • sponsoring a rat trap (used in the mainland buffer zone);
  • volunteering for the Project Island Song island weeding and planting days
  • joining Project Island Song as a member.

For more information call:

Fleur Corbett, Chair
Phone: +64 9 407 6866
Project Island Song website

If you have land on the mainland and want ot find out more about ways you can help restore your own land and protect the islands at the same time, contact John Booth (Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation Society) email: boothy3@yahoo.co.nz

The eastern Bay of Islands' mainland has its own pest-controlled buffer zone - Projects Strip, Points, Rakau and Noose and Necklace.

Established in support of Project Island Song, the Mainland Buffer Zone not only reduces the chances of reinvasion of the islands of Ipipiri by stoats and rats, but enhances local natural biodiversity. Local people are already experiencing the benefits seeing more bellbirds and increased numbers of tui in the buffer zone area.


Related link

Project Island Song

Contact

Helen Ough Dealy
DOC Partnerships Ranger, Far North District
Phone: +64 9 403 9006 or +64 9 407 0300
Email: hodealy@doc.govt.nz

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