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What volunteer jobs are people doing over summer?

pmcke, 8 Feb 2009 08:28 pm

When we started doing this bait station grid a couple of years back, I decided this was something I could do, despite having no experience, so got a digital map of the area and started plotting bait stations electronically at 100m spacings. I picked a bearing that looked like it might follow the contours and went from there. When actually cutting the lines on the ground I found that there still seemed to be plenty of ups and downs, despite trying to pick an easy contour and then when I made lines that weaved around obsticles, the volunteers following me got confused and would loose the lines on sharp bends. Plus I got one situation where a adjointing bait lines were within sight of each other and you could accidentally go fromone to another. What I do now, is go out with GPS with bait stations set up as waypoints and bait lines as routes. I will have bait stations and pink triangles in my pack. I walk pretty much exactly along the straight line doing a basic cut and put the whole infrastructure in as I go. Others can follow behind and improve the track following the pink triangles. We had a contractor in last year who did some lines and they seem to have someone walk the line with hip chain, followed by someone to cut the track, followed by someone who put in bait stations, followed by someone who put up pink triangles. It seemed like a lot of repeat trips to me. At one stage we did turn the bearing around 90 degrees to try and ease the situation where what used to do around the slope, goes up and down at the other end of the reserve. But they still seem to go up and down a lot and none of the lines are a cake walk. I think it is easier just to ignore the terrain and make your lines straight.

David (admin), 6 Feb 2009 10:32 pm

That sounds interesting pmcke. Do you cut your lines dead straight or do you navigate around the worst of the supplejack? Do you use the GPS to locate the stations each time or do you just mark the tracks really well? I haven't done possum baiting before as my background is in tracking tunnels and trapping (leg holds, live capture rat traps, snap traps, cat traps, rat traps, DoC 150's etc).

pmcke, 6 Feb 2009 12:15 pm

I go out for 2-3 hours each weekend checking bait lines on Mt Ngongotaha (near Rotorua). We do poisoning for possums in the spring but I have been spending time checking that the lines are clear, well marked and that the bait stations are correctly labelled. After completing that I have another 50 odd bait stations to put out ready for next spring. I have the locations and the lines all planned with GPS so it is only a mater of marking the lines, cutting the worst of the supplejack and nailing the bait ststions to the trees. I find it very theraputic, going out for 2-3 hours at a time. The routes are rough so it is very cardiovascular and I can get a good sweat up. But then I am not so far from home that I can get back for the next meal and a nice cup of tea!

David (admin), 6 Jan 2009 06:45 pm

Hey guys, Im just interested in what volunteer jobs others are doing over the summer holidays (for those of us with nice long holidays). I am spending three weeks monitoring dotterels on Waiheke Island for the ARC then a week weeding on one of the islands of the Hen and Chickens for DoC. Finally I am spending two weeks as an intern at the Auckland zoo, one week with primates and one with carnivores. What is everyone else up to?

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