Monday, May 20, 2019

Stella: Te Waka Kaitiaki

 Today we were lucky enough to have a visit from Stella Kake-Schmid from Te Waka Kaitiaki Whenua. She gave us a super interesting presentation about how and why we need to be Kaitiaki of our native forests and all that live in it.
Here are some of the interesting things we learnt:
Rats, Mustelids, Cats and Dogs are natives birds biggest predators.

Mustelids (Stoats, Weasels and Ferrets)
Ferrets were introduced to control the rabbit populations. They then became a problem themselves and they now hunt native birds. Humans brought them here and they are just doing the job that they were brought here to do, it is not their fault that they were introduced to our country. Stoats and Weasels can reproduce very fast, they can invade Kiwi burrows and eat eggs and baby kiwi.

When a possum is born it is the size of a jellybean and stays in it's Mum's pouch for 12 weeks. It stays on it's Mum's back for 7 months. Possums kill our native plants by ring barking them. Possums also eat birds eggs and native berries. Possums were brought to NZ so people could use their fur to make money.

If the rats don't eat, their teeth could grow to 14 cm in one year. Ship rats have longer tails than their bodies, this can help them to climb trees to access nests. Rats were introduced on boats by Polynesians and Europeans.

Cats and Dogs
Dogs and Cats are the biggest threat to Kiwi and native birds. Kiwi freeze when they are scared and Dogs can crush the Kiwi's neck in one bites.

We need to be Kaitiaki by : 
-putting muzzles on dogs
-killing feral cats
-helping to trap pests
-protecting the predator free islands from pests so experts can breed Kiwi
-training your dogs with Kiwi aversion training
-lock your pets up at night
- put bells on cats to warn birds
- never let dogs and cats roam

We were so interested in Stella's korero and hope to see her again soon.

1 comment:

  1. I am really impressed with your knowledge about the predators to our native birds. I know you will all be amazing kaitiaki.