The Banded Kokopu, A Kaipara Local

The Banded kokopu is listed as a ‘regionally significant species’ and is an amphidromous fish, spawning in estuaries and sea from autumn/early winter. To be able to return to freshwater in spring larvae are skilled climbers and well known as whitebait (West, Crow, David, Ling, & Allibone, 2014). However, the population has declined, mainly due to loss and degradation of habitat. The New Zealand large galaxiid recovery plan, 2003–13, conducted by the DOC, allowed time-bound management actions and research needs to counteract threats (Department of Conservation, 2005). This specimen of banded kokopu found on an assessment site was an adult approx. (14 cm), most likely going to the estuary to spawn.

This observation has important implications for the whole catchment affected by the urban sprawl as historically man-made drains associated with the draining of swamps and land reclamation do provide habitat for native fish. The discovery of this species near future development sites such as ‘Mangawhai Central’ highlight the need to consider ecological implications and methodologies to the construction of infrastructure. Fish need to be able to swim upstream to natural living areas. Without fish ladders (both natural and man made) the fish will not be able to complete their natural life cycle and numbers will decline.

 This Banded Kokopu was found in a modified stream channel that exits into Mangawhai estuary.

This Banded Kokopu was found in a modified stream channel that exits into Mangawhai estuary.

Autumn Planting in full swing

A wet summer has meant planting is in full swing in Northland and Auckland. Rural design is currently working on a variety of projects aimed at ecological restoration of our catchment areas. 

Ecology Division

The ecological team is working hard to assess water quality in the Kaipara region. Assessing waterways in our region for diversity and quantity of native fauna.  

 The image above demonstrates how humans implement modification  (drainage culvert)  without thought for the consequences on other species.

The image above demonstrates how humans implement modification (drainage culvert) without thought for the consequences on other species.

 Short fin eel 

Short fin eel 

Planting Teams

In April we have been planting at a variety of locations, including Oneriri, Helensville, Riverhead, Te Arai, and Kaiwaka. It has been a long summer of maintenance and the team has been itching to get into planting.

 

 Boundary planting

Boundary planting

 Riverhead Planting along the riparian margin. 

Riverhead Planting along the riparian margin. 

 Big trees going deep into the Te Arai sand.

Big trees going deep into the Te Arai sand.

Rural Design Limited 1984 Animal Pest Control Programmes

From a long experience working in the natural environment Rural Design Limited know that mammalian pests pose a serious issue to the health and establishment of naturally existing and newly planted native flora as well as native fauna.

Rats, rabbits, possums and livestock pose a large threat to successful restoration work. Eradication/control are generally the landowner’s responsibility and it may be necessary to have a pest control program to achieve eventual canopy closure, high plant survival rates and maintenance of existing areas of native forest. 

One year of intensive control undertaken by Rural Design Limited will help reduce local pest numbers. Short term monitoring and maintenance can determine the course of future requirements.

 A possum ( Trichosurus vulpecula ) caught in a Timms Trap near the Dome Forest, which are both very effective for the control of possum and feral cats ( Felis catus ).

A possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) caught in a Timms Trap near the Dome Forest, which are both very effective for the control of possum and feral cats (Felis catus).

 A fine example of the natural regeneration of tawapou  (Planchonella costata)  a threatened species   listed as at risk (NZPCN, 2018)   growing in a coastal location north of Auckland. The ability of this species seeds to germinate relies on low rat numbers as the seeds are easily consumed by kiore ( Rattus exulans ), ship rat ( Rattus rattus ) and Norway rat ( Rattus norvegicus ).

A fine example of the natural regeneration of tawapou (Planchonella costata) a threatened species listed as at risk (NZPCN, 2018) growing in a coastal location north of Auckland. The ability of this species seeds to germinate relies on low rat numbers as the seeds are easily consumed by kiore (Rattus exulans), ship rat (Rattus rattus) and Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus).