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History of Rimutaka Forest Park Trust
The Rimutaka Forest Park Trust was formed in October 1988 to stimulate public interest in conservation areas, encourage interactive research and environmental programmes and to cooperate with DOC in the fullest development of the 22,500ha Park.
The Trust is an Incorporated Society and supported by an entirely voluntary workforce.
Rimutaka Forest Park Trust projects to date:
- Re-introduced North Island brown kiwi to the Rimutaka Forest Park in May 2006 following their absence from the Greater Wellington region for nearly 100 years
- Built an information kiosk and memorial seat at the Catchpool Road car park
- Built shower blocks, toilets and cooking facilities at the Park campground
- Provided interactive information panels on the Nga Taonga te Ngahere, Five Mile Loop and Orongorongo Tracks
- Implemented and managed predator control programmes (opossum, cats, stoats, rats, hedgehogs and magpies)
- Developed education resource kits covering many aspects of the Park and biodiversity and conservation issues
- Provided signage and publicity at Turakirae Scientific Reserve
- Provided active predation control of Catchpool Valley and environs (Dawn Chorus Project)
- Maintained an active trapping regime - targeting stoats - in the Turere Stream and Whakanui Stream areas and extending for many hectares beyond (Kiwi Project)
- Provided kiwi avoidance training for dogs over the past 4 years
- Maintained a tunnel-monitoring network in the Turere Valley to ascertain numbers and presence of mustelids, rodents, weta and other invertebrates. This programme has now been extended to the Catchpool Valley and to include monitoring for lizards as well
- Developed a Planting and Revegetation Plan for the lower Catchpool Valley and Stream
- Established a network of 5 Minute Bird Count stations for determining the conspicuousness of birds in the Park
- Deployed 12 acoustic recorders in the Park to monitor kiwi calls at night and the dawn chorus in the mornings
- Developing software and systems to analyse/ filter and make sense of the huge amounts of data recorded by our acoustic monitoring network
- Currently experimenting with infrared cameras to monitor nocturnal activity in the park (and kiwi burrows and mustelid pest tunnel avoidance in particular!)
Here's a great overview of the Trust's early history and recent achievements by Ian Armitage, presented on the occasion of the Trust's 25th Anniversary on October 12th, 2013.