Forest restoration and protection on
Bluff Hill and Bluff Harbour environments

Menu

News

South Island Robin Release

BHMET is very pleased to announce that after 8 years of hard work the translocation of the South Island Robin (Kakaruai) to Bluff Hill Motupōhue took place on March 1 and March 4. Volunteers from BHMET along with DOC staff travelled to Waikaia and caught 41 robins that were released into the forest; 23 on the first release and 18 on the second. It has been many decades since the call of the Kakaruai was heard on Ngai Tahu’s sacred Topuni site ‘Motupōhue’ and the Trust is thrilled to be fulfilling our pledge to “bring back the bird song” to Bluff Hill. This milestone is a credit to all the hard-working volunteers both past and present who have worked to control pest animal numbers; this is the ultimate reward for all our efforts. BHMET would like to acknowledge our partners, Blacks Fasteners Limited and Invercargill City Council, for their generous support, to thank the Hokonui Runanga for allowing us to bring their precious manu/birds to their new home, to thank Te Runanga O Awarua, especially Dean Whaanga, who blessed the robins at the release, to congratulate all our volunteers both past and present, and to thank DOC and Environment Southland for their steadfast support. Next time you take a walk on the Glory track you may be lucky enough to hear or even see one. BHMET has received overwhelming support from locals and visitors following the release. We’re receiving regular updates on sightings of the robins, which we hope are adapting nicely to their beautiful new forest on Bluff Hill Motupōhue.

FACTS

  • South Island robins are friendly and trusting, often coming to within a couple of metres of people, being attracted to invertebrates disturbed by the activities of people.
  • The robin’s strong descending call of five or more notes is repeated often and makes their presence obvious.
  • NZ robins are relatively long-lived, surviving up to 14 years where few or no predators exist.

Predator Free New Zealand Article on Our Trust

Article on our Trust: http://predatorfreenz.org/titi-inspires-formation-bluff-hill-group/

Predator Free New Zealand is an independent trust established in 2013. Their Trust is committed to finding ways to make major reductions in the pest animal population (rats, stoats, possums, weasels, ferrets and others) and see substantial increases in native species. Predator Free NZ endeavours to bring together and support the many people working around NZ to trap predators and conserve native wildlife. Their focus is to:

  • Grow the vision and tell the story of a Predator Free NZ
  • Support and grow the national army of volunteers
  • Connect community groups, private landowners, hapu and iwi

To Contact Predator Free NZ, send an email to: Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Study on Medicinal Plants on Bluff Hill

Tshering with Lokesh and BHMET volunteer Billy the dog.

Tshering with Lokesh and BHMET volunteer Billy the dog.

Tshering and Lokesh measuring transect lines for her vegetation survey.

Tshering and Lokesh measuring transect lines for her vegetation survey.

SIT Environmental Management student, Tshering Doma Bhutia, is doing research for her bachelor’s degree on the medicinal plants founds on Bluff Hill. Estelle and Billy (the dog) Leask were on hand to assist Tshering and her helper, Lokesh. Two examples of medical plants founds on Bluff Hill: (1) the leaf and bark from the Pseudowintera colorata (Horopito), the pepper tree, can be used to heal cuts, wounds and stomach pains and the root can be chewed for dysentery and (2) the bark of the Metrosideros umbellata (Rata), the southern rata, can be made into a poultice to put on sores, wounds and abscesses and when soaked in water, the bark can be applied as a lotion.

SGHS Environmental Students Field Trip

SGHS Environment Science class students and Estelle, BHMET volunteer and co-chair for conservation.

SGHS Environment Science class students and Estelle, BHMET volunteer and co-chair for conservation.

Estelle Leask, BHMET Co-Chair for Conservation, enjoyed two afternoon field trips with students from the Southland Girls High School Environment Science class. The students learn about our pest control programme and how it benefits the ecosystem on Bluff Hill. A special thanks to their teacher, Lynley King, for her continuing efforts to raise awareness of environmental issues in the youth in our community.

New Mustelid Trap Line Installation

5 mustelid traps ready for installation along Greenpoint Walkway/Boardwalk.

5 mustelid traps ready for installation along Greenpoint Walkway/Boardwalk.

Volunteer Fabian Pera transporting two of the mustelid traps.

Volunteer Fabian Pera transporting two of the mustelid traps.

Fabian and a mustelid trap that he's set and baited.

Fabian and a mustelid trap that he's set and baited.

Volunteers Fabian Pera and Estelle Leask installed a new mustelid trap line along the Greenpoint walking track and boardwalk found just outside Bluff township. These traps will help reduce mustelids coming into Bluff and will help protect seabirds and forest birds in that area. If you’re in the area and looking for a lovely walk and interesting sights, try the Greenpoint Walkway/Boardwalk. The short walkway (30 min return) begins opposite the Greenpoint Cemetery. A walking track and boardwalk follows the shoreline to Greenpoint, providing panoramic views across Bluff Harbour. A viewing platform overlooks the ship graveyard, Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter, the port, Bluff Hill/Motupohue (standing at 265m, an extinct volcanic cone) and Bluff township.