Te Puia Track, Hot Springs and Mangatainoka trap line, Wednesday 15 June 2022
Julia recently went trap line checking with Grant, a new volunteer on the Save Our Kaweka Kiwi taskforce. Grant wants to ‘give back’ to the Kaweka Forest Park, where he spends downtime with his family camping and hunting.
With recent rain in the Kaweka Ranges and the Central Plateau, the rivers were high and running dirty – definitely ‘Do not cross’ territory. However, the ford on Makahu Road was open to 4×4 vehicles, and so we headed out to do the Hot Springs trap line, and continue on to the Mangatainoka trap line.
This line also includes some of the slightly larger DoC 250 traps, which are intended to catch mature stoats, having a stronger trap mechanism.
The day was fine, with no wind or rain, so perfect for a winter walk.
There are 65 traps in all, and we reached the last trap near the Mangatainoka River confluence with the Mohaka River. The Mangatainoka River was running clear, but the Mohaka was wide and dirty; obviously they have very different catchments.
We viewed Waiokaka Lodge from the confluence, where the Pou which protect it can be clearly seen.
Then we made the return walk, looking for some traps which we had identified as missing. We found one of them in some long grass, not far from the track. The TrapNZ app on the phone proved its worth.
A good walk, and it was fascinating to see how the Mohaka River can rapidly double its size and demonstrate the power of water.
Grant is keen to walk this trap line once a month, so our volunteer numbers are boosted!