January 2024 Newsletter

January 2024 Newsletter

During January there was one volunteer trip involving 7 Trust leaders, 17 adult volunteers and 22 students. There was also the Massey University trip and several water taxi and DOC Friday boat trips with people doing various jobs.

Upcoming  Trips
Sundays: February 18, March 17
Contact Fiona on info@motuihe.org.nz
Mid week: February Friday 16, Thursday 22, Wednesday 28
Contact Simon on volunteermotuihe@gmail.com

The kiosk is very busy
After a very bad year for the kiosk in 2023 with endless cancellations due to weather, this year we have had a great start with sunshine and excellent sales. The volunteer operators are doing a great job.

Happy customers buying ice creams that support the Trust's work.

Orcas in Wharf Bay
Helena, one of our current summer contractors, took this great video of Orcas off the Motuihe wharf on 5 January. She thinks there were 2 females and a calf and also a male. 

Endangered Plants Project
Motuihe welcomes our latest endangered species - we now have rare plants growing in the nursery. Many are now extinct in the wild. Our 3-year programme will help us to understand the best conditions to grow each species, so that we can provide other projects with plants and instructions so that these plants can once again be enjoyed by everyone.
 If you'd like to be part of this exciting project, please contact operations@motuihe.org.nz.

Kakabeak 2024 Photo by Lois Badham

Scandia rosifolia 2024 photo by Lois Badham

Tauhinu_Ozothaminus leptophyllus 2024 photo by Lois Badham

Massey University and eDNA Testing on Mōtuihe
From the 27th to the 28th January, we were very fortunate to have 20 past and present ecology students volunteering from Massey University (Albany). Led by James Roberts and supported by long-term Mōtuihe volunteer Emma Salmon, we collected 6 eDNA samples from Von Luckner's stream and the Pond. The stream and the pond are the only standing water during the summer on the island. 
eDNA gathering is a simple process in the field, but in the lab the results can give us valuable insight into the organisms inhabiting our freshwater sources. 
The process in the field included using a large syringe with a microfilter fitted onto the end. The water was then pushed down into the filter. The process concluded when it became too hard to push the water through the filter. The results of the testing will not be known for sometime however the group did observe galaxiids (small notice fish) in the stream. 
Although we had to cut our trip short due to forecasted high winds on the 28th, everyone enjoyed their time on the island. The students went spotlighting for wetapunga, kiwi and other nocturnal creatures on Saturday. 
Let’s hope that we will see some of these students in the future. Hopefully helping out in our biodiversity teams. 
Emma Salmon

The Massey University team testing the water near the bottom of the von Luckner Stream photo Emma Salmon

The Massey University team testing the ponds at the top of the von Luckner Stream photo Emma Salmon

Oyster Catchers just carry on doing their thing
Despite the hundreds of people on Wharf Bay beach over the summer, the Oyster Catchers managed to raise their chicks by ignoring the humans. This little chick patiently waits while mum has an afternoon nap. There were also 2 Pateke chicks swimming around on the pond. 

New power system for woolshed

Six new solar panels are prepared for installation on the roof of the woolshed. The system is up and running and will solve a number of problems at the woolshed and nursery.

Redboat Trip Sunday January 21
After dire predictions about the weather this day turned out to be hot and sunny with light winds. A group of 22 including 7 leaders travelled on a very busy Red Boat and met up with the group of 24 Waiheke Sea Scouts and their parents. There was also a weed leaders training group of 3. The Tieke track received a good cutting back and some drains were cleared. A number of jobs were tackled in the nursery by the group of Japanese students supervised by Jill Bishop. The 18 teenagers in the group appreciated the BBQ Jill Soufflot's father cooked for us. A successful, if rather hot day. 
Fiona Alexander

The group of Japanese students with Jill Bishop, back from collecting Puriri seeds.