Citizen Science 2019 - Recognising & Reporting Pest Plants

Finally all the results of August’s Citizen Science Month are in! A big thank you to all the volunteers who got involved and monitored reserve chew card lines, and to those of you at home and on the streets who reported weeds, bird counts, created photopoints and registered an interest in monitoring the health of our streams.

Across the month, 95 volunteers gave a whopping 265 hours of monitoring time. Their contribution to science helps us target campaigns and action for the care of certain areas of our Kaipātiki landscape.

You can read the results of each monitoring topic in our PFK blog (there are four), and if you want to get further involved and take action – all the information you will need to get started is in the blog and on our website.

This year, we incorporated recognising and reporting pest plants into Citizen Science Month. An environmental weed, or pest plant, is a plant that overrides the systems of nature to such an extent that that natural place (or the ecosystem) looses the ability to repair itself. The native bush seedlings can no longer compete with weeds, and overtime no next generation will be present. The native wildlife and bush we love to see and walk through depends on healthy native ecosystems, and hence invasive weeds are our enemy. There are many ways you can easily get involved to Recognise, Report and Remove them. During Citizen Science Month, the community took the first step in reporting weeds wherever they found them. We hope this momentum will continue over the following months, in order to eventually achieve a complete picture of pest plant abundance and distribution in the Kaipātiki Local Board area.

A massive thank you to our funders and sponsors who provided spot prizes for participation and volunteering awards. Our thanks to the Kaipātiki Local Board, Auckland Council including the Research and Evaluation Unit and Birkenhead Licencing Trust for making Citizen Science Month possible. Thank you Kaipātiki Project, Bunnings Warehouse, New World, Key Industries, 100 Percent New Zealand, Te Ngahere, Samsung and Andrea Reid from Pollinator Paths for your generosity!