BioBlitz 2015: Pourewa Reserve and Kepa Bush (Auckland)

BioBlitz is back! Join our experts, including Ruud Kleinpaste, and volunteers to help them count every species at Pourewa Reserve and Kepa Bush, over the course of 22 hours.

We might even discover a new species!


When: Fri 27 Mar, 10am – 11pm; Sat 28 Mar, 7am – 4pm

Where:  Pourewa Reserve, 111 Kepa Road.

Pourewa Reserve has recently been returned to the ownership of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who aim to restore the mauri (life force) of the land. BioBlitz will provide them with data to inform their restoration plan. We would also like to know which species occur in the adjacent Kepa Bush, as this will act as a reservoir for Pourewa.

Join day-time and night-time tours, or look down a microscope and be amazed at the number of species living in this corner of Tāmaki Makaurau.


????????????????????????????????????????????????????Checking out boundary of Porewa and Kepa Bush site visit 2013_small


Field trip timetable

Note: there will be field trips in both Kepa Bush and Pourewa Reserve (see the list below).  Additional tours and happenings will be posted via Twitter.

Okahu Rakau (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei) will provide further tours on Pourewa throughout both days, as and when required.

Please wear sensible footwear and clothing. Bring a torch if coming in the evening for light trapping moths with Dr Robert or the after-dark spider walks. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

  Pourewa Reserve – departing base camp marquee
1pm: Bird watching with the Ornithological Society
2pm: The importance of biodiversity monitoring with Auckland Council
3pm:   Restoring the Mauri, with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s Okahu Rakau
4pm:  Freshwater fish counting with Tom Trnski, Head of Research, Auckland Museum
9am:  Bird watching with the Ornithological Society
10am:  Restoring the Mauri, with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s Okahu Rakau
11am:  Insect sweeps with John Early, entomology curator, Auckland Museum
  Kepa Bush – departing Colenso Place
3pm: (3 trips)

Bird watching with the Ornithological Society

Plant identifications with the Botanical Society

Insect sweeps with John Early, entomology curator, AM

4pm: Pest management with Friends of Kepa Bush Fabulous fungi with Landcare Research
7pm: Spiders and insects with Grace Hall, Landcare Research
9pm:  Spiders and insects with John Early, entomology curator, Auckland Museum

Spiders and insects with Grace Hall, Landcare Research

Stream animals with WaiCare


Bird watching with the Ornithological Society

Moss identifications with Jessica Beever, Landcare Research


Pest management with Friends of Kepa Bush

Fabulous fungi with Landcare Research

Under every good plant …

… there’s a mycorrhizal fungus! These are members of the fungi kingdom are the hidden partners of the plant kingdom. Check out these new posters to find out more.

Mycorrhizal fungi 1 Mycorrhizal fungi 2

New posters about lichens

Lichens are extremely interesting but under-appreciated organisms. Some members of the fungi kingdom have joined forces with green algae members of the plant kingdom (or the blue-green algae of Cyanobacteria kingdom) to create a new life form … lichens!

You can download copies of these and other fun, educational posters from the Landcare Research website.  (Scroll down the page to get to all the posters.)

Lichen poster 3 Lichen poster 2 Lichen poster 1

It’s all over now but what a great BioBlitz!

 The  final tallies are:  

  • Bacteria  (not counted this time)
  • Beetles = 51
  • Birds = 29
  • Bugs (Hemiptera) = 26
  • Conifers (trees) = 8
  • Earthworms = 5
  • Ferns and fern allies = 44
  • Fish = 3
  • Flies = 76
  • Flowering dicot plants = 222
  • Flowering monocot plants = 80
  • Freshwater algae = 29
  • Freshwater invertebrates = 57
  • Fungi (except lichens) = 233  – a fairly spectacular haul – the good dose of rain just prior – with the warmth afterwards no doubt helped.
  • Lichens = 60
  • Lizards and frogs = 1
  • Mammals = 3
  • Molluscs (land snails) = 8
  • Mosses, liverworts and hornworts = 35
  • Moths /butterflies = 27
  • Nematodes = 20
  • Spiders, mites and other arachnids 8= 4
  • Wasps, bees and ants = 125
  • Weta and other invertebrates = 23
  • Zooplankton/ protozoa = 2

(The Botanic Gardens database has nearly 7000 plant species & cultivars but we did not count them as they have been planted)

The total will probably be revised once the scientists have had a chance to take a closer look at some of their finds.

We had great weather on both days and, although it got very hot inside the huge base camp marquee during the afternoons, the temperatures were cool in the early morning & after dark. But that did not deter all the families that turned up for the spider walk (we saw some huge sheet web spiders and the glow of glow worms) and light-trapping moths.

Lots of school groups visited and it was great to see them all so enthusiastic and so well-behaved. Well done to all the kids, and the people who organised their visits.  And great to see so many enthusiastic families … hopefully lots of budding young biologists out there who will come to the next BioBlitz in two years time.

We’ll be back with more updates and photos soon … in the mean-time, we’ve lots of gear to unpack and tidy away, sleep to catch up on, and reports to write about what was found.  You can see the latest BioBlitz video on YouTube:

Getting ready for BioBlitz


October 2015
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