Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter May 2021

Travis Wetland Trust

Work Day Reminder, May 15 2021

Travis Wetland Location Map
Travis Wetland Location Map

The next Travis work day, is Saturday May 15, 9 am – 12:00pm.

Meet at the Education Centre (the old farm house) near the Beach Rd car park at 9 am. Click on the adjacent location map for a more detailed view.

This month we will be planting at the north side of the Millennium Forest (alongside the bird hide path). Please join us.

All tools provided. It may be wet underfoot, so gumboots are advised. If you don’t own any we do have some for loan.

Latest News

Wild Bee Hive
Wild bee colony on willow tree

Last Work Day, 17 April

This is pretty much a nil report. Not long after we had walked around the northeastern side of the wetland to the Mairehau Rd car park area it started to drizzle. While we looked at the bee colony on the crack willow trunk in the Anne Flanagan Dell the rain got worse. We walked back along the wetland walk and started to release some plants. At this stage it started to pour and we pulled the plug on the work day.

We hurried back to the Education Centre and warmed up in front of the heat pump while we had morning tea. Unfortunately little useful work was done, but we had a nice social time anyway.

Article: Dave Evans, Image: Grahame

Beggars’ Ticks Weed Control at Ōtukaikino

mature stand of Beggars' ticks
Wildlands field team member Emma Holdaway with a mature stand of Beggars’ ticks

I wrote about Beggars’ Ticks at Travis in a 2012 newsletter and it continues to be difficult to keep under control. So I was interested to see a recent ECan news item on the pest plant at Ōtukaikino.

The first part of the news item reads:

Efforts to catch Beggars’ ticks in the Ōtukaikino Living Memorial Wetland are being boosted thanks to more than $16,000 of Immediate Steps biodiversity funding being given the tick.

Goals for the Beggars’ ticks project 

The two-year project aims to control the pest plant before it takes over the Ōtukaikino Wildlife Management Reserve.

The project being led by Lamb and Hayward Living Memorial Trust aims to eliminate the presence of targeted weed species (Beggars’ tick) within the site and increase the density and diversity of native vegetation by 2025.

Threat to wetlands and waterways 

Beggars’ ticks are a prolific weed, and are considered a threat to areas with low stature native vegetation. It seems to be contained only within the Ōtukaikino Living Memorial Wetland at this stage but has the potential to spread via waterways easily if left uncontrolled. 

It will be interesting to see if they manage to get ongoing firm control on the pest plant at Ōtukaikino because that has been found to be particularly difficult at Travis. Not only do the seeds float from one place to the next, but they cling to clothing (hence the name, perhaps) making them very easy to spread. Read the full article here.

Article: Dave Evans, image: ECan news item

City Nature Challenge Results

City Nature Challenge 2021 observations
City Nature Challenge 2021 observations

Last month I foreshadowed the City Nature Challenge for 2021, which took place last weekend (30 April to 3 May). At the time of writing observations are still being entered and the total for Ōtautahi Christchurch is nearly 11,000!

It seems pretty certain that Ōtautahi Christchurch will have the most observations of the NZ cities taking part: Pōneke / Wellington, Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, Ōtepoti / Dunedin and Heretaunga and Ahuriri / Hastings and Napier. This is in no small part due to the tireless work of Travis members Jon Sullivan and Colin Meurk. Laura Molles and Eleanor Bissell deserve honourable mention too. The global total number of observations was over 1.2 million.

By the way, if you’re an Instagram user the iNaturalist Observation of the Day feed is really worth following. The diversity of life on Earth is truly astonishing.

City Nature Challenge results
City Nature Challenge results

Article: Dave Evans

Better Ancestors Weekly Video Series

Better Ancestors Hinewai video
Better Ancestors Hinewai video

For those who haven’t come across them already there is an ongoing weekly series of Aotearoa/NZ videos called Better Ancestors being posted to YouTube. The 10-15 minute videos are well worth watching. The subject of the first video will be well known to many of Travis Wetland news readers: Hinewai and Hugh Wilson. The following description of the series comes from their YouTube channel:

Welcome to Better Ancestors, and “The Change-Makers” – our series of weekly videos, throughout 2021.

In this series change-makers share their stories, their thoughts, their ambitions and their actions to leave the earth a better place – to be a Good Ancestor to future generations.

Our planet is experiencing catastrophic environmental harm; we are required to think Long Term, beyond our lifetimes, and to take actions to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for all.

The stories of those leading the change, thinking and acting with long-term vision, are inspirational.

Inspired, we can ask ourselves: “What can we do to become Better Ancestors?”

Membership or donations by cheque

Once Westpac goes cheque free on 25 June the Travis Wetland Trust will no longer be able to accept payments by cheque. If you don’t have any other options available to you then please contact treasurer Dave Evans (366-0628 or 021-043-7128) and we’ll see what can be arranged.

Recent Images from Grahame

Pied / Black Stilt hybrid
Pied / Black Stilt hybrid
Autumn at Travis Wetland
Autumn at Travis Wetland
Pūkeko keeping close eye on hawk
Pūkeko keeping close eye on hawk
Aberrant raupō
Aberrant raupō
Dunnock (Hedge Sparrow)
Dunnock (Hedge Sparrow)