Chapters Corner: Wellington

Kumutoto Forest Restoration Group

On the 24th of July, Kumutoto teamed up with Sustainable Coastlines for their annual planting day. Over 60 people showed up to put 100 trees in the ground, remove weeds and clear rubbish. It was a really special day with the first two signs being installed which represent the Maori history and hard work of volunteers.

This year Kumutoto is building a relationship with the neighbouring primary school, Clifton Terrace Model with help from Sustainable Coastlines. Members, Miriam and Bart gave a presentation to a class of 8-12 year olds about the history of the land and future goals. There were lots of cool questions and comments from students afterwards. Then the kids got their hands dirty and planted a grove of trees donated by Sustainable Coastlines and a local conservationist. The children had an epic time scrambling around in the forest picking up rubbish of their own accord. The teachers were keen to display creative writing and art in the forest to brighten it up.

Rats and mice numbers are being controlled with 27 Victor traps GPSed and loaded onto the new app for volunteers to check regularly.

The trees from past plantings are doing great! There are some beautiful lianas and epiphytes. A weta hotel has been installed and in June, member Bart presented a poster about Kumutoto at the SCB Oceania Section conference in Brisbane.

Kumutoto Forest Restoration project.

In SCB Wellington news

We were recently gifted the Tumbleweed Conservation Fund from a local t-shirt company to fund a scientific project.

The Wellington Chapter is also putting together a set of questions for the mayoral candidates to engage students to get political with their love of conservation.

Places for Penguins

Places for Penguins is now into its third year of nest box monitoring. With a new breeding season having kicked off in July, our nest boxes are starting to show signs that mating pairs are taking up residency along the bay, as they (and we) get ready to see the next generation of kororā (little blue penguins). We're continuing to assist Forest & Bird with planting days around the Wellington coastline to restore habitat and create larger suitable nesting areas. We also have a couple of exciting student projects in motion that look to improve the way the project is run and add to our understanding of little penguin nest box selection behaviour.

A little blue penguin and chick.

Backyard Sanctuaries

Backyard Sanctuaries is SCB Victory University of Wellington Chapter’s latest conservation initiative. We are a non-profit community project, run by volunteers who believe in the long-term vision of predator-free Wellington. To achieve this goal and to create a citywide sanctuary for native wildlife, it is crucial to include and engage private properties in mammalian predator control and restoration efforts. We aim to do this by running hands-on workshops focusing on positive outcomes of pest control. Thanks to the support of Department of Conservation, Backyard Sanctuaries has so far been able to organise two workshops in Miramar Peninsula, and provide free trapping equipment to the participating households. In the future we are also hoping to give out native plants. The feedback has been encouraging, and we are slowly building relationships within our target communities.

Backyard Sanctuaries presentation on predator control and restoration efforts.