Countdown for Christmas - wrapped in joyful birdsong Aotea The Barrier is here on Auckland's doorstep
Aotea The Barrier is here on Auckland's doorstep
The Island is getting busier by the day as lots of visitors head across by plane, ferry and private boat. Here in the north at Port Fitzroy / Rarohara, it’s an all-hands-on-deck effort to welcome guests, host guided tours and keep up the essential biosecurity protection for our precious species that call Aotea and Kotuku Peninsula home. Visitors walking the Glenfern loop track tell us of their joy after climbing into the crown of a 600yr old Kauri tree, viewing ancient Puriri, experience the stunning views from sunset rock, or have a lucky sighting of our resident chevron skink. Glenfern and the Kotuku Peninsula is surely a unique destination within the motu.
Getting to Aotea just got better
Barrier Air continues to be the mainstay airline for bringing visitors to and from the Island with flights from Auckland, North Shore, Tauranga, Whitianga and Kaitaia. Also a new regular service Island Aviation. There are 2 flights daily to Claris at 8.30am (return 9.30) and 15.30pm (return 16.30) (including a shuttle to some popular destinations.) New services will be added as demand grows,. Check out their transfers here
October and November were busy months. The Glenfern team haven't had a lot of spare time recently. November saw a tracking tunnel run, bird burrow inspections, bird counts, a garden tour as well as our usual bio security and maintenance work. Visitor numbers are increasing, both day visitors and guests staying with us. Luckily for us we also welcome some volunteers to Glenfern who will certainly help.
Monitoring - Bird Counts
Thwarted by the weather Glenfern bird counts were cancelled this year, Auckland Council’s rangers turned their efforts to park maintenance, for which we are more than grateful. Aotea also has an Island wide community-led bird count! (now into it’s 4th year) early December - see link for https://www.gbiet.org/bird-count A black petrel (Photo by Rachel Hufton)
Seabird burrow inspections - Titi / Cooks petrel
Todd and Maira from Auckland Council RIMU seabird team are assisting with some long overdue burrow inspections, Titi / Cooks Petrel are at risk and it’s exciting that there are a few hot spots on the Kotuku Peninsula they return to. Thanks also to Envirokiwi staff, and Zach who have also helped out. Next trip is planned for January 23 with a focus on the Black Petrel which is incredibly endangered! To learn more about seabirds and related projects see www.nzseabirdtrust.com
Low Pest Numbers
Whilst we obviously would prefer there to be no pests inside the sanctuary it is very pleasing to see that our trapping programme is keeping the numbers down. November also had a tracking tunnel run that resulted in only one out of sixty cards (1.66%) with print as opposed to 40% on our control lines outside the fence. These make all the mahi worthwhile.
Opening Fitzroy House up for the Garden Tour
The Glenfern team were super proud to be asked to play a part in the northern garden tour in November. The tour is a vital fundraiser for Aotea Health. It was all hands-on deck to get the property looking ship shape especially with the grass growing as fast as we mow it and the weather being a bit fickle during the week. Still we got it looking pretty good! The Glenfern stop included a look around the historic Fitzroy House and gardens, a trip to sunset rock and the Kauri tree swing bridge, a presentation on Sanctuary history and operations as well as a wonderful afternoon tea. Thanks to the Aotea Health team for making it so easy for us and make sure you look out for tickets for next year’s tours if you are keen to join in.
Volunteers and Interns
Zach is back! He is now on his third visit to Glenfern - he brings with him many skills after completing the ToiOhomai conservation pest control course. We are looking forward to welcoming others who are also so passionate in protecting our taonga. This month we also welcome Morgan and his partner Shannon to Glenfern. Morgan will be taking over bio security work when Zac heads away for Christmas, Shannon will be assisting at the Port Fitzroy Boat Club over summer and is keen to help out around the sanctuary when she can.
Memorandum of Understanding - Embracing the wairua of Kotuku
Mā mua ka kite a muri, mā muri ka ora a mua Those who lead give sight to those who follow, those who follow give life to those who lead. "I love the idea and importance of working together..." Opo Ngawaka, Chairperson Ngāti Rehua-Ngāti Wai ki Aotea Trust Board for Ngāti Rehua Ngāti Wai ki Aotea
The Ngati Rehua Ngatiwai ki Aotea Trust Board holds rangatiratanga and manawhenua and has kaitiaki o Aotea which includes Glenfern Sanctuary and Kotuku Peninsula. We are delighted to have now formalised our engagement with a M.O.U. between the two Trusts. Whānanga
In October Motairehe Marae held a whānanga for whānau that whakapapa to Aotea with tamariki aged 5-13 years attending. Glenfern Sanctuary provided accommodation for staying students and day attendees and their parents and caregivers. This whānanga strengthened, grounded and connected whānau and tamariki to themselves and their whakapapa connections, and to the environment. Our Trust representative from Motuheire marae Sonya Palmer thanks the Trust for supporting the whānanga – which she said was a huge success. Watch this space for details on the next planned whānanga for older students.PestivalThere are so many passionate advocates for conservation on Aotea at Pestival in October. The speakers were accompanied by displays from local environmental initiatives: Aotea Community Native Plant Nursery, Aotea Trap Library, Auckland Council, Awana Project, Department of Conservation, Motu Kaikoura, Okiwi Green, Okiwi Community Project and Envirokiwi, Okupu Community Trappers, Oruawharo Medlands Ecovision, Tū Mai Taonga and of course a display highlighting the what, how and why of Glenfern.
Birds of Aotearoa
Aotea Great Barrier Environmental Trust (AGBET) presented its beautiful Birds of Aotea poster. We are honoured to be hosting their 20th Anniversary at Glenfern Sanctuary in February 23. Posters are now available at Glenfern Sanctuary, and soon to be online on the AGBET website. Watch this space for a “State of Environment” update on the birds of Aotea Great Barrier Island.
Stunning new poster - a great souvenir Northern Seabird Trust also provided support - huge thank you for your research and support. (You can get resources online: Hauraki Gulf Forum Posters and see publication on the threats to our beautiful birds, and what you can do to help: https://www.nzseabirdtrust.com/threats-to-seabirds-of-northern-nz
Accommodation still available With the borders opening up we have had a few people change their plans and therefore we have some gaps over the busy summer period. If you have always been wanting to visit Aotea and were thinking it would be too late to book for this summer jump on our website BOOK NOW
Thank you, thank you, thank you We are always grateful to our amazing supporters that provide Glenfern Sanctuary with everything from public funding, to labour, to peanut butter, to building advice. Donations Glenfern Sanctuary is run by a charitable trust. We rely on the generous donations made by passionate people to keep the Sanctuary open to the public. By choosing to donate to Glenfern Sanctuary you are helping threatened native species such as Pāteke (Brown Teal) , Takoketai (Black Petrel) and north Island Kaka, allowing them to thrive in a safe and protected environment. Donations can easily be made by visiting our website and clicking on the amount you wish to donate
Thank you for reading our latest news! Season's Greetings and wishing you all happy and safe holidays! Nga mihi
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