Monday 6 March, 2023
DoC Rangers Kahori and Alan did a recce trip on 26 February to see if it was possible to get through to the crèche by road. Eight of us then went in on 2 March to round up the surviving chicks. It was a big day. I don’t think we’d make it through now; the road is closed completely.
Of the 11 chicks that were in the crèche, nine survived and they were rounded up with the four young ones going to Cape Sanctuary, the other five being released back into the Kawekas at the Kuripapango Lakes area, from Taihape Road (currently our only access to the park and classified as a ‘service vehicle’).
The photos don’t give a real sense of the carnage in the crèche. We were all too busy trying to gather up the chicks to think about pictures.
A slip has taken out a section of the fence, and those are sheep inside the perimeter having a good ol’ graze. Most are out now but there were still about 40 in there on Thursday. There’s another smaller breach somewhere along the top right.
There are massive slips within the crèche, particularly on the left-hand side of the lake and at the top of the lake. These slips go right down to the lake itself. It wasn’t possible to walk around the lake track. The two chicks that didn’t survive appear to have been caught in a slip; unfortunately we ran out of time to find the remains.