Chew Card Volunteers Needed!

Support Pest Free Kaipātiki in our first steps to help protect the bush and birds from rats and possums!


Here’s your chance to get involved in some real-world citizen science!

Pest Free Kaipātiki’s is gearing up for Stage I of their monitoring programme – the laying out and retrieval of about 400 “chew cards” in our Kaipātiki Reserves over the next month. This is based on the expert advice received from Craig, Derek and Richard in our ‘Monitoring & Data’ team.
It will establish a baseline measurement for the predator population and better determine the next steps to making Kaipātiki pest-free by 2026! and will provide an ongoing yardstick to measure our progress to bringing back our native birdlife.
We need your support! Whether you are an existing bush reserve volunteer, or a newbie wanting to get involved to learn more, please register as one of our Chew Card volunteers and encourage your colleagues, family and friends to register too.

Click here to register using our Chew Card Volunteer sign up form 

What’s involved?

• 1 x Training Session (Thursday 20 July at 3pm) at Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre, 17 Lauderdale Rd, Birkdale. There we will explain where and how to install the cards and how locations are mapped and GPS located. You’ll get enough information to train other volunteers too. [Note: More times may be added for people who can’t make this session].

• 2 x Sessions in the bush ‘Walking the line’ – one walk nailing up pre-labelled chew cards to marked trees, followed by another walk retrieving all chew cards, 3 days later. (MUST be completed between July 20 and 9 August).

• 1 x Sending your chew cards and recorded data to 17 Lauderdale Road, Birkdale (before 10 August, 2017).

More info
Once you have signed up – we will follow up with an email and contact you with Chew Card updates and reminders.
Training will be provided but you will need to be: a. confident working off trail in bush (you will be in pairs for safety) b. comfortable to learn how to use a GPS tool to find the marked trees
You will be provided with: A map showing the lines of GPS locations of marked trees, and pre-labelled chew cards to be nailed to marked trees. We will allocate reserves according to local interest but we may need volunteers to do other reserves they are not normally working in. Kauri Dieback spray bottles will be provided if required.
Ways to get involved Volunteer as an individual – we’ll find you a partner and try to match you to your preferred Kaipātiki suburb or reserve (note – not all reserves are being monitored in this round).

Volunteer as a pair – share this with a friend, sign up together and nominate a partner. Volunteer as a family – Kids love seeing what chew cards can tell us about the predators in the bush. Helping with chew card monitoring is a great way to safely introduce families of school age children to our reserves. Working in guided groups on easy terrain, parent-child teams can enjoy an adventurous science lesson and learn first-hand all about the battle to protect our birds and wildlife.
What is a Chew Card? Where are they placed? A chew card is a small piece of coreflute impregnated with tasty stuff that rats and possums might like to eat. The idea is that they bite it – leaving their teeth marks. Each species has distinctive teeth marks – so we can analyse what sort of rodents are in the area. Chew cards should not be left out more than 3 days – or the teeth marks can become obliterated. Each chew card has a unique ID on it and should be placed in the GPS location marked on the planning map. This means that the scientists who analyse the card know what rodents are in each location. By the way, the lines setup on the maps have been designed scientifically to give a randomised sample of locations across Kaipātiki.

Click here to register using our Chew Card Volunteer sign up form 

Got a Question? Email us and we’ll tell you more… [email protected]