Project Janszoon’s Newsletter – March 2014

Hello, welcome to our first newsletter of 2014. It is now two years since we launched Project Janszoon and we are beginning to achieve some significant milestones. When we launched in 2012 we had a 30-year vision; to secure the existing ecological values of the Park, to restore, and to future proof. It is exciting to see this vision start to come to fruition.

Secure :

In April our extended stoat trapping network will be operational, meaning 70% of the Park will be trapped. This is one of the largest stoat trapping networks undertaken by a private trust in New Zealand and brings us closer to the reintroduction of birds like pateke and kakariki. With the expectation of a significant beech mast this year, hugely increasing the rat and stoat numbers, it seems likely we may also need to use aerial 1080 this spring to reduce predator numbers. We are also delighted with the progress being made by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust to eliminate wilding conifers from the Park.

Restore :

Late last year we announced we would be starting restoration at the Hadfield clearing site behind the Awaroa inlet. This is one of the last lowland kahikatea forests in Nelson/Tasman and the plan is to extend the existing 10 hectares by a further 25 hectares of kahikatea and other species. Later in April we’ll begin planting the first 12,000 trees and ultimately we would like to make it easier for the public to view and appreciate this area, perhaps with a boardwalk.

Another exciting milestone will be our first bird reintroduction in April thanks to the hard work of our ornithologists Pete Gaze and Rosemary Vander Lee, DOC and the folk at Lochmara Lodge. Eleven kakariki (yellow crowned parakeet) will be released in the Caanan area in what we hope will be the first of many bird releases.

Future proof :

It was an honour to take part in the launch of our new education project last month at Te Awhina Marae. It really is a symbol of the Park’s future and it was great to see the enthusiastic response from the four schools involved in the pilot programme. We will learn a lot this year and hope to get more local schools involved in time – in years to come these students will take on our conservation work.

We also opened a free wi fi network in part of the Park in December. Check out our Virtual Information Center smartphone app on the Janszoon website. Ultimately we plan to extend the network through the Park allowing access to a variety of information for visitors. We believe the more we can involve and educate people about this wonderful environment the more people will care about it.

We wouldn’t be able to achieve any of these things without the support of the Abel Tasman community. Our relationships with DOC, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust, park neighbours and the concessionaires, in particular, are a vital to our ongoing success.

I look forward to another exciting year in the Abel Tasman.

Devon

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