Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hauraki Gulf-Biodiversity and Biosecurity.

I have just returned from an all day excellent work shop organised by the Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity. It was held at the Tamaki campus at Auckland University. It was encouraging to see the level of interest and passion for all the good work that is going on around the Hauraki Gulf Islands.  Many restoration projects are  to restore these island to be able to act as a repository for native species, some of which just cannot survive on the mainland due to the range of predators.  The challenge for the future though is how to fund these projects as they develop and particularly in the present climate as the Department of Conservation's funds are being reduced. Although still controversial to some extent it was suggested that a greater emphasis should be made on a business model of Eco tourism and 'user pays' to visit these Islands..

Te Muri

Te Muri is a new Regional Reserve not yet opened to the public. I was fortunate to be able to have a walk with the Auckland Botanical Society around some of the native bush and wetland area of this land. Its a great site with huge potential and is situated between Waiwera and Mahurangi Regional park North of Auckland on the East coast. This will effectively stop this precious section of coastline from sub-division in the future. There is an extensive area of bush and we were pleased to see hard beech as we entered. There is also an area of wetland that will need to be fenced to prevent stock roaming into it. That applies to the woodland too so it will be some time before this park is open to the public.

Monday, February 11, 2013


If you like huge landscapes and birds this is a great place to visit. It was all new to me and a friend had promised that I would really enjoy this landscape. How right she was. We virtually had the island to ourselves apart from a few thousand birds that began foraging as the tide went out. We saw godwit, turnstone, Caspian tern, little tern, whimbrel, South Island pied  oystercatcher, white- fronted tern. later we were joined by two other birders  and we had an enjoyable time comparing notes. Pat had a scope and that was very useful as we were not quite so well equipped that day due to some repair work on scopes and binoculars.

It's a beautiful landscape and I look forward to returning soon