|Hymenophyllum spp from Magaone track (filmy fern)|
Was also interesting to hear the current Chairman of the trust speaking at the meeting and find out about what is happening in terms of the future for Nga Manu...roadways, entrances etc.
Then on Tuesday we began to prepare the Tuatara enclosure for digging. All of the burrows were marked ...around about 40 to 50 burrows in the sand and all of the obstacles were removed and cleared.Also on Tuesday I managed to do some more data basing of the ferns so far collected and we readied the classroom for the influx of visitors on the Wednesday.Wednesday was the launch of the game "Cloak of Protection " developed by Jill Manning and 36 children arrived to play 4 round of the game in the Nga Manu classroom.33 of the children were from my school so I was teacher in charge for the session. They were wonderful and thoroughly enjoyed the games they played.... SO engrossed!
The children also saw the eels being fed and were able to enjoy a walk through the bush later in the morning... altogether a good day.
The real excitement however for this week was Thursday...the day the Tuatara would be dug , collected and made ready for transfer to Young Nicks head and Cape Kidnappers...two mainland sanctuaries taking 20 Tuatara each to the East Coast...once a place where Tuatara thrived.The first to arrive were a contingent from Ngati Koata and the Victoria Uni scientists ...Sue and Kristine.We needed to dig and catch 40 Tuatara and bleed 20 or so. The .2ml of blood would then go off to Otago Uni for investigation of stress hormones in the reptile ...we also weighed and measured every animal and the blood sampled animals also had temperatures taken.The 70 tuatara were hatched and incubated at Victoria University after the eggs were gathered from sanctuary islands. They were taken to Nga Manu when they were about a year old.
The range in temperature was between about 16- 17 degrees and they were quite cold to the touch plus slow breathers! The length measurements are taken from the mouth to the vent and the vent to tip and then a further measurement of the tail regrowth if there had been a break. The range in colours was quite remarkable probably according to where the animal had been in the burrow or up and out.Was a real privilege to be able to see and handle so many Tuatara in one hit...fantastic.
The official hui involved all of the receiving iwi and the of course the donors of taonga ....Ngati Koata and the handing over was Friday morning early so the reptiles could get on the road in good time...a long journey to the North.
|Sue Kristine and I taking the data|
|on the way|
|Rhys Mills with his babies!|