Whakaupoko Landcare Group

(West Franklin – between Pukekohe & Waiuku)
Contact Email whakaupokolandcare@gmail.com
Web www.patumahoe.org.nz click on Whakaupoko Landcare …
Contacts: Roelf Schreuder E:roelf@slingshot.co.nz Ph: 021 366-402
Gary Morriss E: garymorriss@vodafone.co.nz Ph: 09 236 3435
Andrew Sinclair E: info@climbingjack.com Ph: 09 236 3647
Eli Ewens E: eli_ewens_@hotmail.com Ph: 021 075 088

Background
Whakaupoko Landcare was formed in 2004 among a general concern that the environment was not improving and pests such as possums continued to be an issue despite efforts of some individuals. The area has gradually expanded with in excess of 100 members from Mauku, Pukeoware, Akaaka, Glenbrook, Patumahoe and Puni areas. It is a Registered Charity. As well as pest & weed control, monitoring and revegetation, there are a combination of evening meetings and Fieldays. The area has scattered bush remnants with taraire, puriri, totara dominance and a high kereru population.

Strategic Plan: The focus has been on making the place better for native flora & fauna with a combination of pest control, revegetation and some weed control. Refer web for more details.
Pest Control – Coordination Works: The coordinated approach taken has been far more successful than what was happening previously. There are over 500 bait stations in place over an area of approx 6,000 ha. Also there are 20 stoat traps in use. When the group first started the first RTC (Residual Trap Catch for possums was 34%). We have moved pest monitoring to Chew Cards and expect that we are at an equivalent RTC of around 5% with pockets of high pest population. The area under pest control is voluntary among landowners and continues to grow. Pest control costs / ha is very low at well under $2/ha. This compares very favourably with Councils funding contractors (providing low pest numbers can be achieved and maintained).
Free Trees Initiative: The last 5 years has seen over 15,000 trees made available to landowners completely free to help foster better landcare. This initiative has been most successful with many more native trees than this planted in the area. Also there has been a significant increase in land permanently fenced off from livestock. There is excellent documentation of the groups achievements via annual photographs. A community nursery is about to be established to further this initiative.

Monitoring: This is seen as most important for feedback to the community and funding providers. (Refer web for more details)
Birds: For over 6 years simplified 5 minute bird counts have been recorded on a 3 – 4 monthly basis on over 50 sites. The focus is on key indicator species which for our group is Kereru, Tui, Fantail & Grey Warbler. Tui have shown a 400% population increase.
Pests: Last year Chew Card monitoring was initiated on an annual basis. Chew Cards are seen as an excellent tool.
Revegetation: Photos over time from the same place

Patumahoe Village Inc: The recent development of Patumahoe Village Inc has provided some excellent coordination opportunities for both groups. Whakaupoko Landcare contributes to the 3 monthly newsletter and shares the website. We have extended our activities to providing connecting pathways to areas of bush close to the village of Patumahoe.
Younger Folk: There is currently limited interaction and involvement with local schools and younger people in the community. (Volunteer time limitation).
Bats: There are at least 7 sites in the area where bats are known to have lived. To date we have not had the time to investigate this further. However there is some echo location equipment that is being sourced.
Weeds: Wooly Nightshade has been main group focus for now.