Thursday, 3 March 2016

Pouakai, predators, swamp, nearly homeless!

Another clear start, walking through forest, lower shrubbery trees on the whole as still high. Increasing numbers of dead ones, learned later they were cedars, killed by possums eating too much of them, including the bark. Someone introduced them a cute things to live in the Forest. That was after rabbits were introduced for food, and became a plague, followed by stoats to control the rabbits: bad idea, given the choice of menu between a fast and canny prey, of predator-naive ground nesting bird and its eggs which should you choose? Within a decade about 80% of the birds had gone, most have not recovered.
Next down a long way to the swamp, not yet destroyed totally, but fragile so a wooden walkway has been built.
Finally up the other side along the flanks of Taranaki, above the tree line again to the Taranaki Alpine Club lodge. Sadly they hadn't given us the door code, we'd assumed it was open like all the DOC ones, my mobile wouldn't work so 500m down to the visitor centre where Wonderwoman just happened to know their secretary so phoned her to get the code, 500m back to the top in time for grub and a stunning sunset with Taranaki's shadow reaching all the way to Ngauruhoe and Ruapeho.

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