Travis Wetland Monthly Newsletter November 2019

Travis Wetland Trust

Work Day Reminder, Nov 16 2019

Travis Wetland Location Map
Travis Wetland Location Map

The next Travis work day, is Saturday November 16 2019, 9 am – 12:30.

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.

The current plan is to do some planting in the Mairehau Rd area, but plans change like the weather! When we leave the Education Centre to work somewhere else around the wetland a notice board in the porch will indicate where we have gone, if it’s not obvious. As usual the work will be followed by morning tea at the Education Centre.

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

Latest News

Work Day, Saturday 19 October

If the work day had been one day earlier we would have had the 4th wet and miserable work day for the year, but fortunately Saturday dawned fine and sunny, just a day after a cold front passed by. There were 18 willing workers including a few newcomers and two enthusiastic children. We headed down to the Millennium Forest to plant a variety of species on both the wet and dry sides of the track. On the dry side there was plenty of onga onga (tree nettle) to steer clear of. Despite the recent rain it was surprisingly dry under the established trees so we watered the plants using buckets filled from a nearby drain.

October Travis Work Day
October Travis Work Day

A steady stream of walkers and runners went by offering encouragement. Eleanor found plenty of creepy crawlies to hold the interest of the kids. As well as the planting there was plenty of newly emerged Convolvulus to pull out. After a couple of hours of steady work we adjourned to the Education Centre for morning tea and coffee along with Eleanor’s delicious baking – all consumed on the sunny verandah. Thanks to everyone who attended to help out, please come again soon.

October Travis Work Day
October Travis Work Day

Article and images: Dave Evans

Travis Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the Travis Wetland Trust was held on the evening of 24 October. You can read the minutes of the meeting here. All members of the board were returned for another year and we welcome new board member Bruce Craig.

Chairperson’s Report

Sean’s report drew attention to the progress on future plans for the Residential Red Zone and their implications for Travis. He also thanked the many people and organisations that contribute to the restoration of the wetland.

Ranger’s Report

Ranger John Skilton’s full report is available for you to read here. Some of his highlights for the year were the new name (Ōruapaeroa) and signs, the sealing of the Beach Rd entrance and car park and the just-released new Travis brochure (pick one up the next time you are at the Education Centre, or watch out for them on the shelves at city libraries). On the flora and fauna front was the first recording of long-finned eel at Travis and the successful germination of rare native Drosera (sundew) and Celmisia (daisy) seeds from Travis, by the Botanic Gardens. Natural regeneration of more plant species also validates the restoration work being carried out at Travis.

Mānuka Group Report

Eleanor’s report on the work of the Mānuka Group also covered contributions by Wayne’s Wednesday Weekling Willing Workers and the Conservation Volunteers who have several working parties visiting Travis each year.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Dave Evans presented his report at the AGM. The bottom line was “Expenses for the year exceeded income by nearly $2000, but that is primarily due to the timing of donations received and we are not expecting a deficit in the current financial year.”

Hinewai Reserve
Hinewai Reserve

Nick Head – Ecological Emergency

Christchurch City Council ecologist Nick Head spoke after the AGM, here area a few bullet points from his presentation:

  • NZ has a high level of endemism (species found only here)
  • Christchurch City is a biodiversity hotspot
  • The number of threatened species is increasing and halting this decline is of national importance
  • Protected areas are often separate from the threatened ecosystems
  • The whole is more important than the individual parts
  • There is ongoing loss as land use changes
  • Banks Peninsula has huge potential for protecting biodiversity
  • The District Plan is not fit for purpose and needs tweaking
  • For example the vegetation height thresholds for protection are inadequate and criteria for what is significant is not well understood
  • Threatened species habitat can look unimpressive
  • There is a lack of biodiversity funding and the size and number of protected areas needs to be increased
  • There should be targets for protected areas, e.g. >20% of original areas of habitats
  • Buy land for protection or incentivise land owners, Hinewai is a great example
  • Better coordination between agencies (DoC, councils etc.) is needed
  • Climate change exacerbates the ecological emergency

We thank Nick for a stimulating presentation delivered despite a bad head cold.

Article: Dave Evans

Large Brood of Paradise Ducklings

Female Paradise Duck with ducklings
Female Paradise Duck with ducklings

Seventeen chicks are quite a handful for this Paradise Duck (Putakitaki) mother. It’s a couple more than the generally accepted maximum brood size, but it’s known for more than one female to lay in a single nest. That’s a dirty trick to play on another mother. Did you know that they often nest in a hole in a tree and that can be up to 25m above the ground? When it’s time to leave the nest the fluffy little chicks just launch themselves from the hole and waft down to the ground unharmed by the fall.

Article Dave Evans and image Grahame Bell

Spring Flowers

Korokio, Corokia cotoneaster
Korokio, Corokia cotoneaster
NZ Iris, Libertia ixioides
NZ Iris, Libertia ixioides