Call (+64) 3 304 7654, or Email marie@theseventhgeneration.org

Wildside Management Recommendations by Marie Haley 2018

The following recommendations are based on eight years as the Wildside Co-ordinator working from within the community, from the recommendations of Andy Cox senior pest threats advisor at DOC (2014), widespread consultation, and from national best practice.

Contributors/consulted: Hugh Wilson, Helen Greenep, Alice Shanks, Di Carter, Ian Hankin, Mark and Sonia Armstrong, Asif Hussain, Penny Carnaby, Tina Troupe, Tricia Hewlett, Paul Newport, Nick Head CCC, Robin and Jo Burleigh, David Norton, Maree Burnett, Tom McTavish, Mel Young, Andy Cox,

Wildside-Management-Recommendations-Marie-Haley-2018

Trappers Guide

The purpose of this Trappers Guide is to improve the operation and maintenance of our trapping program. This guide should help professional and volunteer trappers alike and standardise the management of traps across land ownership or tenure.

Some pests are intelligent enough to learn from bad experiences and will quickly discover how to avoid poisons, traps and spot lights if your first attempts to kill them are not successful. Using a range of traps, baits, toxins and techniques and cycling toxins from one knockdown to the next, helps to avoid a build-up of wise, bait or trap shy animals.


Traps that are not managed to a high standard are likely to increase the likelihood of bait shyness as an almost trapped animal is likely to be a never seen again pest. Poor maintenance also increases the replacement cost of lost or damaged traps.


Another key focus of this guide is for trappers to feel engaged, supported and vital to the success of a trapping program. It is hoped that this guide will help to inspire improvements not only in trapping but in your personal safety and enjoyment.

Trappers-Guide-Revised-Marie-Haley-2020

The Wildside Story

The Wildside is an area on the outer edge of Banks Peninsula recognised for its high biodiversity value and a community of landowners who have become conservation leaders for their protection of endangered species some of whom are found nowhere else in the world. Recognised in 2017 with a national Green Ribbon Award from the Ministry for the Environment(MfE) and Department of Conservation (DOC) for Conservation Leadership.

 The Wildside started off more than 25 years ago when a farmer Mark Armstrong, who grew up with little blue penguins all over his farm, was showing a visitor a penguin nest under his woolshed. He lifted the floor board to find a ferret in the nest eating the two chicks. Local farmers had wondered why penguin numbers were dropping but this was the first definitive proof that something was really wrong and action needed to be taken! Landowners approached DOC and were able to borrow half a dozen traps. Soon it was found that predators had to be stopped well before they reached the penguin colonies and so trap lines were established by the landowners up the valleys and ten years later DOC established extensive trap lines.

 Now over 700 predator traps cover 7000ha of Banks Peninsula in a coordinated program managed by the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust in a long established partnership with DOC, Christchurch City Council (CCC), Environment Canterbury (ECan) and landowners. Initially the Wildside was a reaction to the issue of predation of the little blue white flippered penguins (endemic to Banks Peninsula) but at the same time Hinewai Reserve was being established by the Maurice White Native Forest Trust and visionary botanist Hugh Wilson. Around the same time the community of traditional farmers were struggling with the 1980’s financial downturn and started to look to diversify their income and the Banks Peninsula Track was formed. This bought about a change from traditional farming to regenerative farming where beautiful scenery, biodiversity and healthy forest was valued for economic reasons.

 In 2001 the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust was formed as the only community group in New Zealand who has the legal statute to covenant private land. Suddenly landowners were empowered to manage their own conservation projects and a new era on Banks Peninsula began. BPCT Trustees as landowners were able to talk over the fence to neighbours and promote habitat protection. Hinewai Reserve was an example of how to turn unprofitable and unmanageable gorse infested land into valued forest.

 In 2010, the Wildside coordinator was employed to bring together into one cohesive project all of the many diverse conservation efforts. Born and raised within the Wildside Marie Haley has a grounded understanding of the people and place and worked within the community to set outcomes in a visioning process.

 The Wildside outcomes have four broad themes, people, economy, habitat and species. To engage people in the project, both landowners and the future generations through education. To add economic value to the land, by protection of its environmental health and beauty and to promote a unique story. To protect forest habitat, stream health, sites of ecological significance and promote marine protection. To protect the species that we love and by their presence make this place special; yellow-eyed penguin, little blue white-flippered penguins, titi, Akaroa daisy, Banks Peninsula tree weta, jewelled gecko, morepork, falcon and many more. This process showed people what we had to protect and what we had to lose.

The aim of the Wildside has moved on from the initial protection of pelagic sea birds to become a whole landscape restoration project within a living working environment. That means we love and protect our land while we still continue to thrive here ourselves. Collaborative predator control has seen a dramatic turn-around in the sea bird species. Twenty-five percent of the Wildside is protected through covenants or reserves. But something else is happening on the Wildside, we have the first whole stream protected from summit to sea through farmland in New Zealand. The landowners who created this have quietly inspired landowners all around them and BPCT is in the process of covenanting a second whole stream, the upper catchment being already protected completely by Hinewai Reserve. Many other landowners are protecting the streams in their property.

 

Fools & Dreamers: Watch the full documentary here!

Fools & Dreamers is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. We learn about the commitment of Hugh and the Maurice White Native Forest Trust to regenerate marginal, hilly farmland into native forest, using a minimal interference method that allows nature to do the work, giving life to over 1500 hectares of native forest, waterways, and the creatures that live within them. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know about his plans to allow gorse to grow as a nurse canopy for self-sown native trees, the response was sceptical at best and outright angry and disparaging for the most part – one farmer stating the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”. Now considered a local hero by town and country folk alike, Hugh’s home at Hinewai overlooks a valley resplendent in native forest canopy, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. An inspiring, charismatic personality, Hugh’s passion and enthusiasm for his life’s project come through in every sentence he speaks. A dreamer who has made his dream come true, Hugh has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Titi burrow monitoring result summary, 1995 to 2018

Titi burrow monitoring result summary, 1995 to 2018

Banks Peninsula Locals Sustainability Story

Watch this video to understand why Banks Peninsula is such a remarkable place!

Local student Marco Varray, 12, has created this winning documentary film in the National Outlook for Someday competition. The film features local characters who tell their story of sustainability, it also captures the unique outlook of this rural community who are passionate about living a sustainable and enjoyable life.

2017-18 Yellow-Eyed Penguin Report by Marie Haley

For the first time in 2018 we have recorded Banks Peninsula breed and a microchipped yellow-eyed penguin (YEP) returning in the second year moult.
Five nests were located on Banks Peninsula, all within the Wildside. Three nests were abandoned by end December. Three chicks hatched, one disappeared and one died of avian malaria in care, with one fledging with malaria.

2017-18-YEP-Report-Marie-Haley

2017 Green Ribbon Award Winner

The Wildside story started 25 years ago, when a Banks Peninsula farmer set out to protect the little blue penguins on his farm. Since then this project has grown to harness a whole community in protecting the special environment of the Banks Peninsula.

In 2001, the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust was formed, with the legal ability to covenant private land and manage its own conservation projects.

In 2010, a coordinator was employed to bring together the Trust’s many efforts into one cohesive project – and Wildside was born. The aims of the project were to engage and educate people, to add economic value to the land by protecting its environmental health, to protect forest habitat, stream health, native species and sites of ecological significance, and to promote marine protection.

The project has seen more than 700 predator traps set over 7000 hectares, which has enabled a dramatic turn-around in sea bird species in the area.

The Trust has also achieved protection of a whole stream through private farmland from the summit to the sea. A second stream is now being targeted.

Today, around 25 per cent of the area has been protected through covenants and reserves, allowing the forest to regenerate. The area now boasts the largest private reserve in New Zealand, Hinewai, which covers 1570 hectares.

Source link: Green Ribbon Awards

Achieving a predator free Banks Peninsula – costs revealed

Achieving a predator free Banks Peninsula – costs revealed

In geologically ancient times, Banks Peninsula was a group of volcanic islands and even now is only connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. That makes the Peninsula of particular interest as a possible trial site for non-fenced mainland predator eradication.

Predator Free Banks Peninsula: Scoping Analysis (2017)

Sea Bird Survey 2017

The Banks Peninsula Sea Bird Survey 2017 got off to a spectacular start yesterday with perfect sea and weather conditions.

Marie Haley and a team from the Department of Conservation and Christchurch City Council surveyed the whole Wildside coastline from Le Bons Bay to Akaroa for the beautiful spotted shag, white fronted tern, red-bill gull and more.

Marie even landed on a predator free island to check out the fairy prion and little blue penguin colonies. The fairy prion are unable to nest where there are any mammalian predators such as rats or stoats as they are so small and delicate, but on these valuable islands they nest alongside other sea birds. In pictures shown here the different species are neighbours amongst the rocky rubble.

Banks Peninsula is a sea bird hotspot with 70% of the worlds population of spotted shags found along our coast and the white-flippered little blue penguins are endemic to our shores. With intensive predator control and predator fencing we hope to ensure that burrowing sea birds such as petrel and prions can again make mainland Banks Peninsula their home.

The coast of Banks Peninsula is spectacular in any weather but especially so on a fine day, we have had plenty of rain this winter and so all the waterfalls were flowing down to the sea. Dan Rogers and Nikau Palm waterfalls were especially spectacular.

  

Photos (left to right): spotted shag in breeding plumage, Nikau Palm Gully waterfall (the southern most palm tree in the world), Dan Rogers cliffs hanging gardens and rare waterfall, fairy prion on Crown Island, white-flippered little blue penguin nesting next to the prion. Credits: Marie Haley.

Yellow-eyed Penguins Endangered

 

Across the mainland hōiho or yellow-eyed penguins (YEP) are having a tough time of it. This year the number of breeding pairs on Otago Peninsula was only about 200 compared to 600 in the 1990’s. Otago University researcher Thomas Mattern reports the outlook for populations around the South Island is bleak “the situation is all but lost, but we need to act and we don’t have much time’.

With an estimated breeding population of 1700 pair, the YEP is one of the rarest species of penguins in the world, around 60% of the population is thought to breed on New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands with the rest on the south-eastern coast of the South Island. However, little is known about the sub-Antarctic population and in the southern South Island mass mortality events from unknown toxins and barracouta attacks regularly decimate numbers.

Thirty-five years of sea surface data from Boulder Beach on Otago Peninsula shows that sea temperature is the main environmental influence, with lower fish stock during warmer periods. However, other factors play a significant role, the impact of fisheries is poorly understood due to a lack of data and fisheries monitoring. Predation both at sea and on land remains an issue in some areas and unregulated tourism is an important and growing threat. While humans love to see hōiho walk across a wild beach, hōiho do not feel the same at all about humans and become incredibly stressed by the mere presence of a human. 

Yellow-eyed penguins have just been upgraded to Endangered and researchers agree that South Island hōiho are facing almost certain extinction by 2060.

Thankfully on Banks Peninsula, our small hōiho population is remaining steady. We have a strong collaborative conservation program on the Wildside to control predators on land. Banks Peninsula is blessed with many sheltered bays and penguins are doing especially well in bays with restricted human access. Landowners protect the penguin colonies fiercely against these impacts and each nest is monitored closely by BPCT, DOC and CCC staff. If a penguin is in trouble, we take it into expert veterinary care as soon as possible and penguins are able to recuperate with dedicated intensive care nurses. All of this, just to ensure the population holds steady.

2017 was a year of highlights for the Banks Peninsula hōiho team. We had our first microchipped chicks return, in a species where >80% of chicks do not make it through their first year at sea, this is monumental. Eight juvenile birds, in their first year, were recorded and we hope some of these will remain and breed. A total of 25 birds were found with four nests and six chicks fledging. Only three penguins died during the breeding season.

These small successes always lead to hope that hōiho nests will increase, that more chicks will be born and fledge and that they will return again next year. But yellow-eyed penguins have just been upgraded to Endangered and researchers agree that South Island hōiho are facing almost certain extinction by 2060.

Predator Free New Zealand

Marie Haley lives in her great grandmother’s house on the Banks Peninsula land that was first farmed by her French great-great-great grandfather. It’s on a part of Banks Peninsula known as the ‘Wildside’, named for its rugged landscape, dramatic cliffs and iconic species of birds, insects and plants – some of which are not found anywhere else in New Zealand. It sounds idyllic, but possums, stoats, ferrets, weasels and feral cats have infiltrated this piece of paradise, just as they have decimated the rest of New Zealand.

Marie Haley checks on a yellow-eyed penguin.
Marie Haley Landowner of the Wildside and The Seventh Generation Guide

Protecting the Wildside’s unique biodiversity

Wildside Performance Report 2010-2015

This report has been prepared for the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust (BPCT) Wildside Project. The Wildside is an area of 13,500 ha on the South-eastern bays of Banks Peninsula. It covers a mixture of private rural farmland (75%) and private and public conservation reserves (25%), the largest of which is Hinewai Reserve at 1270 ha.
Over 25 years the Wildside Project has grown from a small scale grassroots farmer-led conservation initiative to a nationally recognised conservation programme, that is restoring this living working landscape through predator control operations and the protection of forest habitat.

Wildside-Performance-Report-2010-2015

2015 Wildside DOC Review by Andy Cox and Marie Haley

This report summarises the observations and information from a brief review of aspects of the Wildside programme.

2015-Wildside-DOC-Review-Andy-Cox-Marie-Haley

PELAGIC BIRDLIFE IN RELATION TO PREDATOR CONTROL AND TOURISM: A CASE STUDY OF PENGUINS IN BANKS PENINSULA NEW ZEALAND

The Wildside project aims to restore the range of species found within an ecosystem and to protect the unique and iconic species that already exist on Banks Peninsula. The project manages the largest penguin colony on mainland Australasia of white-flippered little blue penguins, in “Flea Bay with a yearly 5% increase in breeding pairs” (RFFBH, GSFBH, and PMLBH). The colony has grown from “717 pairs in 2000/2001 to 1304 pairs in 2012” (LSFBH) which is a proven success for the community initiated project. The “last remaining titi colony went down to two pairs and now because of predator excluder fencing 34 chicks fledged in 2013” (PFFBH). Tuis were also “released on the Wildside of Banks Peninsula in 2010 and can be seen all around Banks Peninsula” (IRLBB, LMLBH).

Usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks for evaluation of community-initiated species conservation projects

Abstract
Context. Community-based conservation managers and their funding providers must apportion limited resources to potential projects that provide varying biodiversity benefits. Funding applicants must demonstrate that proposed projects are likely to provide positive conservation returns on investments.
Aims. We investigated the practical usefulness of two bioeconomic frameworks, the Project Prioritisation Protocol and the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) in guiding community-based conservation funding decisions and the benefits and challenges to community groups in evaluating projects using the tools.
Methods. We evaluated four species-based community-led conservation projects in New Zealand using the tools, and assessed the quality, relevance and potential impact of the frameworks to community conservation, including users’ perceptions of their usefulness.
Key results. Benefit–cost metrics from both tools indicated that all four projects would provide a low return on investment. However, both tools were highly sensitive to key assumptions about the values of conservation assets (species) being managed and the values of predicted differences made by projects. Both tools scored well against criteria used to assess
their technical ‘quality’. INFFER had greater flexibility for use in different situations, but its use by community groups may be constrained by the time demands of completing a full project evaluation. Both tools can help users define problems and formulate innovative solutions through assessment of success and risk factors and the identification of project efficiencies.
Conclusions. Although both tools provide quantitative, transparent processes for the relative evaluation and ranking of competing projects, their sensitivities to species and/or asset valuation and benefit estimates mean that users should not accept scores and project rankings uncritically. For community groups, evaluation frameworks are likely to be useful to
document costs, conservation benefits and risk factors accurately and transparently, and can encourage applicants to develop more robust approaches to project management, including the development of specific and measurable management objectives. Implications. Adoption of more transparent and standardised assessment of funding applications by agencies, despite some of the drawbacks of currently available tools, would facilitate more transparent prioritisation of competing funding bids and would encourage community groups to develop a more robust approach to project design and management.

Usefulness-of-two-bioeconomic-frameworks-for-evaluation

Abundance and breeding distribution of the white-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata) on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Abstract: A survey of the white-flippered penguin (Eudyptula minor albosignata) nesting colonies on Banks Peninsula,
New Zealand was made during the 2000/01 and 2001/02 breeding seasons. Sixty-eight colonies were found of which
51 contained 5-20 nests, 12 21-50 nests, and 5 >50 nests. Altogether there were 2112 nests which equates to a population
of c. 5870 birds. Adding the estimated 1650 nests on Motunau Island gave a total population for the subspecies of
c. 10,460 birds. The colonies were distributed right around the peninsula with their occurrence increasing from west to
east. Most were situated either on the peripheral coast (47%) or inside bays within 1 km of their entrance (38%). All but
three of the colonies were on debris slopes below coastal bluffs with the nests concentrated mainly in rock piles. One
colony was on an islet, and the other two were on farmland around the heads of bays. Thirty-four of the colonies were
considered accessible to introduced mammalian predators, and 14 contained evidence predators had been present.
If predator numbers remain high it seems inevitable that many of the surviving penguin colonies will be lost and others
reduced in size.

Abundance-and-breeding-distribution-of-the-white-flippered