Protecting our environment

Cornwallis Peninsula is alive with diverse native fauna, and as such is one of many fragile ecosystems in the Waitakere Ranges Region Park.

Since 2016, residents have actively managed pest control lines targeting rats, mustelids and possums throughout Cornwallis, but especially at the southern end of our peninsula around Puponga Point. This was project was initiated after a colony of vulnerable grey-faced petrels was discovered nesting in burrows on the southern cliffs.

The volunteers carrying out a lot of this work call themselves ‘Petrelheads’, and are supported in their predator control activities by Auckland Council Park Rangers and researchers from the University of Auckland. Financial support is coming from The Trusts and Z Energy’s Good in the Hood promotion.

A lot of the funding is being spent on automatic “GoodNature” traps, that attract and humanely kill rats and stoats. Since the traps automatically reset are each activation, they continue to be effective for up to six months before they need to be replenished.

If you are interested in helping monitoring the control lines, you can contact Alex Duncan for more information.

New volunteers are always welcome. You can also purchase a trap, which comes with a guide booklet, attractant and two gas cylinders.

The long term goal of the project is to reintroduce new bird populations, eliminate all predators and tackle weed control.

Land, sea and air

The Karangāhape Peninsula is part of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park and as such is a minor haven for animal life.

NZ fur seal on Puponga Point

Wildlife on show

Examples of wildlife that can be seen on or around Cornwallis, includes; tree wetas, giant centipedes, a native praying mantis, green and forest geckos, NZ fur seals (photographed above on Puponga Point by Jacqui Geux), and on rare occasions orca.

If you do spot any seals, they should be watched at least 20 meters away and dogs must be kept on a lead. Note that it is common for seals to sleep a lot, have weepy eyes and cuts as well as look skinny or malnourished. Only if the seal is being harassed, severely injured or entangled should the Department of Conservation be notified.

Birdlife on show

Examples of bird life that can be seen on Cornwallis, includes; fern birds, tomtit (miromiro), fantail (piwakawaka), grey warbler (riroriro), shining cuckoo (pipiwharauroa), wax eye, kereru (pictured below), Kereruharrier hawk, morepork (ruru), tui, kaka, reef heron, white faced heron, South Island pied and variable oystercatchers, white-fronted and Caspian terns, black-backed and red-billed gulls, grey-faced petrels (oi), pied shags, little pied shags, gannets, spotted shags, and welcome swallows.