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In 2019 FOMI translocated 40 North Island fernbirds/mātātā to the island’s wetland from Rotokare Scenic Reserve in Taranaki. There were previously none present on Mana Island. We are very grateful for sponsorship from OMV NZ to support this project. Overall aim To establish a breeding population of North Island fernbirds/mātātā on Mana Island.  The island provides a range of habitats suitable for the fernbirds. They were identified as a candidate for reintroduction in the 1997 Mana Island Restoration Plan (Miskelly 1999).  People involved This transfer was the culmination of three years of planning by FOMI in conjunction with Kevin Parker of Parker Conservation and the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust. We also had lots of good advice from DOC, and from Forest and Bird who did transfers of fernbirds to Pauatahanui Inlet in 2017 and 2018. The project was led by FOMI. The birds were caught and managed by an expert team from Parker Conservation helped by volunteers. Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Tupaia and Ngāti Toa supported the translocation of fernbirds from Rotokare to Mana Island. The transfer  Forty birds were caught at Rotokare Scenic Reserve in South Taranaki using mist nets over three successive afternoons by an expert volunteer team from Parker Conservation helped by FOMI members.  They were carefully transported overnight to Paraparaumu Airport and then flown to Mana Island at first light to be released in the Waikoko wetland. They all travelled well and were in great condition on release. Monitoring We have a monitoring programme to check on their progress. All suitable habitats on Mana will be systemically searched for fernbirds using recorded calls in a pre-breeding (July/August) and post-breeding survey (February/March) for at least 1-2 years following initial release. The birds have distributed themselves into territories all over the Island and unbanded birds have been regularly seen, indicating that successful breeding has taken place. Find out more Transfer report for FOMI Fernbird translocation April 2019 News items Fernbirds successfully transferred to Mana Island    ...

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In 2019 FOMI began translocating white-faced storm petrels / rōrō, takahikare-moana from Rekohu / Chathams to Mana Island over a three-year period. The aim is to transfer up to 50 chicks in 2019, and 100 each in 2020 and 2021. This work is made possible through funding from our major sponsor OMV New Zealand Ltd.  Overall aim To establish a self-sustaining population of white-faced storm petrels / rōrō, takahikare-moana on Mana Island – to help restore the cycle of nutrients from sea to land, and improve the habitat for other animals and plants. This translocation is part of the ongoing restoration of Mana’s original ecosystem based on a plan developed by DOC in 1999. Conservation outcomes – short to long term To have translocated up to 250 WFSP chicks (one cohort of up to 50 and two cohorts of 100 each) by Feb 2021, with at least 238 fledging in healthy condition. To have at least 15 pairs of WFSP breeding on Mana Island within 10 years. To have a growing population of WFSP on Mana Island that exceeds 50 pairs and has demonstrable ecological benefits to other species on the island, within 30 years. People involved This project is managed by FOMI. The chicks are selected by wildlife biologist Cathy Mitchell and DOC staff, from the source island – Rangatira / Hokorereoro / South East Island in Rekohu / Chathams. Representatives from Hokotehi Moriori and Ngāti Mutunga travel with the birds from Rekohu and formally hand them over to Mana Island local iwi Ngāti Toa. Trained volunteers, led by Cathy Mitchell, feed the chicks for up to three weeks on Mana Island, until the birds fledge.  Progress to date Translocations of 48 and 98 chicks were successfully completed in 2019 and 2020. The final translocation of 100 chicks is planned for February 2021.  Find out more 2019 Summary report for white-faced storm petrel translocation 2020 Summary report for white-faced storm petrel translocation  Videos showing chicks being collected, feeding, fledging News media FOMI news release about first translocation in 2019 Mana Island greets the return of the white-faced storm petrel – Stuff and DomPost 16 February 2019 Seabirds make 800km journey – by boat, plane and helicopter – to predator-free oasis in New Zealand – TVNZ 12 February 2019 Sardine smoothies for Mana Island’s newest petrel chicks – RNZ National 11 February 2019 Seabirds released on Mana Island to establish breeding population – Stuff and DomPost 12 February 2019 In 2020 we posted regular updates on the progress of the chicks on the FOMI Facebook page  in February and...

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FOMI work trip 12-14 June 2020


Posted on Jun 21, 2020

First trip since the Covid 19 lockdown. Only 10 in the group and everyone was careful to observe the hygiene procedures promoted. Travel day was quite cold and overcast. The usual Friday night critter monitoring at the flax weevil site was postponed until Saturday because of the cold conditions. Colin, Brittany and Sarah-Jane travelled up to check the diving petrels. Saturday dawned cold, breezy and overcast. Will was finally able to get back on site to continue his flax weevil research project. Colin, Andrea and Sarah-Jane assisted, setting up the pitfall traps and later retrieving decades old shade cloth from Forest Valley. Still in good shape. Brittany and Heather managed to check all the ngahere traps and the speckled skink pitfalls. David, Richard and Jaz spent Saturday clearing fluttering shearwater burrow lids and trenches. 10 lids were replaced and 4 burrows which had shown signs of flooding were dug out and had their gravel base replaced. Dale began weeding in the wetland and then planting seedlings at the fairy prion site, between the burrow lids. It is hoped this will give cover and protection and make them burrows more attractive to returning birds. After yet another great meal all 10 set off to do a critter search at the flax weevil site (later joined by Nick). As it’s winter we didn’t expect to find much. The sky had cleared and the wind dropped – this made for chilly conditions. Quite a number of marked weevils were found (a sign that these small tags were durable) along with the spiders, slugs, raukawa, weta, a few goldstripes and of course, unmarked weevils. Sunday began with blue skies, gradually warming temperatures and very little wind. A beautiful Mana day. Heather and Brittany began the day weeding in the wetland. Will, Andrea, Colin and Sarah-Jane checked flax weevil site pitfall and closed them down. They also surveyed the 5 flax planting sites for survivors of the flax weevil plague. David, Richard and Jaz completed maintenance work on the fairy prion site with David planting more seedlings between burrows. This group travelled to the ngahere #16 post and restored the gecko fence sample. Sixteen fernbirds were spotted over the weekend in several locations and another two heard but not seen. Nine were unbanded juveniles from the last breeding season. We achieved all our targets +. Great to be on the island again. Dale Shirtliff      ...

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This is the Conclusion section of the 2019/2020 annual report about fluttering shearwaters on Mana Island. It was written for FOMI and DOC by Helen Gummer, 10 March 2020. The full report details the results of fluttering shearwater monitoring efforts through 2019 and the outcome of the most recent 2019/20 breeding season. ____________________________________________________________________________ A total of 92 adult fluttering shearwaters have been handled and identified on Mana Island since the reintroduction of the species commenced here in 2006. This season, 81 adult fluttering shearwaters were captured. (Table 1) The adult population comprises approximately two-thirds known-age (translocated) birds all over 12 years old, and around a quarter of birds were hatched and raised on Mana I., i.e. are up to 8 years in age. Two new immigrants were banded bringing the total number of adults of unknown age lured to the island either by sound or the activity of other birds to nine. This season, there were no first-time adult recaptures on Mana of birds that had been translocated there in 2006-08. However, one such new recapture of a 12.5-year-old bird (i.e. from the 2007 translocation cohort) was made on Matiu/Somes I. on 30 October 2019 (Shane Cotter pers. comm.). A total of 72 fluttering shearwaters transferred to Mana I. in 2006−2008 are now reported to have survived with 62 birds recaptured as adults on Mana I. and 10 birds found on Matiu/Somes I. (Table 2) We can now report a 48% survival rate of the 2007 cohort of translocated chicks, and 34% all three translocated chick cohorts combined so far exceeds that found for translocation projects involving any other seabird species in NZ, except for the Chatham Island taiko. The return rate of birds to Mana I. remains at 29% of all translocated birds. To compare, we can now begin to report some impressive survival rates of birds that were hatched and raised on Mana I. since breeding commenced in 2010/11 including: 50% of all fledglings banded in the 2012/13 season; and, 54% of those banded in the 2013/14 season. So far, a total of 21 Mana-raised chicks have been recruited as adults into the Mana I. population since 2015, and one Mana-raised chick (from 2014/15 cohort) joined the colony on Matiu/Somes I. last year. (Table 3) A total of 36 chicks fledged (Table 4); 29 at South Point and seven at the Northern Colony. This brings the total number of Mana-raised chicks fledging from the island to 182. The very high breeding success rate (90% of breeding attempts resulting in chicks fledging) this season can be attributed in part to favourable weather conditions through most of the incubating...

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