Monday, February 13, 2017

___________________ POHUTAKAWA ISLAND REVISITED _______________

Today we revisited what is now a familiar landscape - a low thin island with flora and fauna clinging to it tenaciously.

My friend and noted conservationist Gerry Brackenbury planted 18 Pohutakawa trees on the island. The bad news is that about 4 of these are dead or struggling and sadly loosing the battle.

The slightly better news is that 3 of the Pohutakawas are, despite the exposed conditions and the summer drought still hanging in there albeit looking a bit worse for wear.

The good news is that 11 of the 18 Pohutakawa trees are thriving and look green and healthy. I am told that the percentage of survivors from plantings such as this on marginal land is not high, so I will be very pleased if in twelve months time we still have 11 healthy trees.

Pohutakawa Island is covered in bait stations to try and control the number of predators (mainly rats) on the island. They seem to be doing the job as we saw a large number of birds on the island. The noise and the swooping of the birds let us know in no uncertain terms that we were intruders.

Looking towards the west. The island is low and windswept. King tides almost inundate the island.

It was high tide and the mangroves bordering the island were flooded with seawater.

My brother Tony transported us across to the island from the Onerahi launching ramp in his 'Seabird' dinghy and helped clear around the trees - two unlikely lads turned eco warriors for the day LOL.

Tonys campervan and dinghy kit did the business really well. 

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