Restoring the islands
Restoring the islands
Since pest eradication was carried out in winter 2009, the islands of Ipipiri·have begun to regenerate naturally. The absence of rats has allowed a carpet of coprosma seedlings to grow; nikau palms, and·forest trees·including totara and rimu have started to grow from seeds dropped by birds. The future restored coastal forest is starting to emerge.·In Otehei Bay,·on Ururupukapuka Island there are many more tui and the torea (variable oystercatcher) and tuturiwhatu (NZ dotterel) numbers are also increasing. Katatai (banded rail) have been seen for the first time in many years on Motuarohia Island. Insects and reptiles too are returning - weta are finding their way into people's gumboots and there are many more mokomoko (skinks) around.
Planting native trees for the nectar, leaves and berries that·birds·feed on will speed up the natural regeneration process. Mass tree plantings have been happening·for a number of years on Waewaetorea Island. Once these food plants are established, it is hoped that kakariki, kukupa and korimako (bellbird), will return by themselves. They already live on the nearby mainland.
The sheltered western bays of Urupukapuka Island are now being planted. If you would like to help, contact us for more information.
Bringing the birds back
With more food for the birds on the islands, the Guardians of the Bay of Islands can start looking at reintroducing some of the birds that used to call these islands home. Small populations of kiwi, pateke (brown teal) and toutouwai (New Zealand robin), already present on some of the islands, will soon be joined by others. And, maybe, in the not too distant future, kakariki, saddleback and stitchbird will be reintroduced.
Busting the weeds
With pests such as rats and mice now gone from the islands, weedseeds are finding it easier to grow. The Project Island Song weedbusters are doing a great job keeping the islands as weed-free as possible. Main weed species being controlled include: mothplant, tradescantia, and wild ginger. Keeping weeds at bay is an important part of island restoration; if weeds are not controlled they can overwhelm any native plantings that are done.