Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Doing the Lines

Uncle Ces, into his 80s, used to go out every Wed and Sun with a small group of blokes, to Do the Lines. They were one of the first groups in NZ to be allowed 'adopt' an area of forest in order to maintain it. In particular, they are trying to protect the birdlife from predators. The Otanewainuku Track is behind Papamoa, near Tauraunga. Ces and his mates mapped out a series of compass lines a few hundred metres apart, and on advice from the local DOC office, set up traps at regular intervals. Doing the Lines on a typical Sunday involves checking each trap, rebaiting the rat traps with peanut butter, and - highlight of the day - removing any dead rats. Every second line has bigger traps that are designed to catch stoats. Those are baited with eggs or meat.

The virgin bush is lovely, with mostly rewarewa and tawa and some huge rimus.
Tom and Vern are pretty much working on their own up there these days. Jenny and I went in with Tom on Sunday. Testament to the steady work these boys have been doing, we saw lots of robins and kereru. There were three dead rats along Line 16. Vern says he usually gets about 8 or nine on his lines, which he says is because he adds aniseed to the peanut butter.

Even on a cold, wet Sunday, there were lots of people, including families, out walking the Otanewainuku Track. At the carpark in Mountain Road, a little band of 3 local folk take turns to be on duty between 10 and 3 to prevent break-ins. Sad that it has to be like this.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment