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#Environment Projects

Kereru in the Garden.

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Kereru in the Garden.

As I was working in the garden this morning we had a visit from these two beautiful Kereru, also know as the native New Zealand Wood Pigeon. These are the largest pigeons in the world and in the past they were a prized food source for the Maori people, but these magnificent birds are protected today. They are under threat from predators like rats and stoats, so the work we do with our trapline, helps the Kereru as much as it helps Kiwis.

Kereru eat the fruit, leaves, twigs buds and shoots of more than 100 different native plants and sometimes they gorge themselves so heavily on ripe fruit, that the fermenting fruit makes them quite drunk, and they have even been known to fall out of trees.

These birds are very important to the survival of New Zealand forests, because they are the only birds left (the others are all extinct) that are big enough to swallow the large fruits of native trees such as Taraire and Karaka. The seeds in the Kereru droppings establish the trees in new areas and keep the forest rejuvenated.

These two guys were feeding on the blossoms of a plum tree and were happy to sit there while I took some photos.

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Sand Dune Plants

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Sand Dune Plants

This plant is called Knobby Rush, the Maori name for it is Wiwi, and it plays an important part in the protection of our sand dunes. Last year we grew about 4000 of these plants and in this season we aim to do 10,000. There is a huge demand for these plants for the back dunes of all our beaches and we know that no matter now many we grow, there will be community groups wanting them. We are working closely with our local council, and hope to supply more and more of the Wiwi that they will need in the years to come.

Wiwi is not hard to grow, but as every plant needs to be pricked out and planted individually, it is still a big job when we start talking about big numbers of plants.

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The Kauris are Growing

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The Kauris are Growing

Spring is coming to the COLC Nursery. This Kauri is one of the first to burst into leaf this season but others are beginning to stir as the new growing season approaches. Right now there are almost 2000 Kauri trees in the nursery, and I know there are a large number of past COLC students who have invested their time in those trees. Thank you all.

It takes 3 to 4 years in the nursery, before a Kauri tree is big enough to plant back into the environment, but the number of trees we have planted out is growing, and there are now about 700 Kauris in the ground at our planting site.

A Kauri tree can live for 2000 years or more, and over their lifetime they will sequester a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, and would like to do something positive about it, talk to us about making a donation to the COLC Environmental Fund and we will plant some Kauri trees on your behalf.

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