As well as the demise of a host of local rodents, the Ngataringa Bay Rat Pack, a local Bayswater volunteer community pest control group, has led to the creation of an informal playground child led bird watching club.
On every third or fourth Saturday morning for the past year the Ngataringa Bay Rat Pack has been conducting rat control and monitoring along the bait lines around Ngataringa Bay. The aim, to help and increase our local native and migratory bird populations. Rats are a major threat to our native species. The group, led by local resident Graham Pitts, is made up of local volunteers and representatives from Bayswater School’s Envirogroup.
Great connections have been made between the group and the Envirogroup, the school’s 20 or so young environmental champions. The Ngataringa Bay Rat pack connection led to a school assembly presentation made by some of the participating children themselves. The presentation was on the rat pack and talked about the value of the environmental treasures right here in our backyard. The presentation was the catalyst for the child led bird watching club. The children observe and note the different species around them in the school bush during break times.
The monitoring sessions are friendly, inter-generational affairs providing a great opportunity for local people to connect, chat and enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning stroll around our beautiful surroundings. There is usually a litter pick up and playground stop… or three on the way round as well. These certainly help to keep the young environmental champions brimming with enthusiasm.
The Ngataringa Rat Pack is part of Restoring Takarunga Hauraki, a wider Devonport Peninsula project. The project seeks to enhance the biodiversity of this unique ecological area on Auckland’s North Shore. The aim to eradicate animal and plant pests and create safe and healthy habitats where native birds can thrive.
Coming up in term four of 2017 local wildlife photographer, Philip Moll will deliver his own presentation to the school’s envirogroup. Philip is a key Restoring Takarunga Hauraki member and hugely knowledgeable about the wide variety of feathered local visitors. The presentation will talk about all of the 30 or so species that call the area home. The following Wednesday lunchtime, and coinciding with the best high tide viewing times, there will be a school trip to Graham’s home overlooking Ngataringa Bay. This to provide the children the opportunity to see for themselves the variety of birds gathered and feeding at the water’s edge close to his backyard viewing deck.
The Ngataringa Bay Rat Pack is providing a great way for local people to connect and come together, raise awareness and enhance empathy for our local environmental treasures. You can find out about future monitoring walks here.