Activity Day 2015

11 December 2015 / Posted by Janszoon Education

This year's activity day students painted and installed weta hotels all around our adopted section at Anchorage, including around the hut and campground, near the 'high tide' track, as well as in the bush off-track near the large wetland by the coastal track. We are hoping that weta (and other insects) will move in so that we can monitor their abundance at our site.

Each weta hotel has a door that opens and a piece of perspex covering the 'hotel rooms' so you can see the weta without disturbing them too much.

Before we got started, we had a lucky coincidence. There was a DOC weta specialist named Chris who came into Anchorage with Helen Lindsay to do some dune restoration work for the day. Helen has written most of the restoration plans for the Park for DOC and Project Janszoon, and she convinced Chris to spend some of his holiday time in the Top of the South helping her at Anchorage. Chris actually talked to us before we got started, teaching us about weta. What is their behavior like? What do they eat? Where do they like to live? We're hoping that by using all of this information we chose spots for our hotels that the weta will like.

We used a gps to record the locations of all the hotels, which we will post on this web site eventually.

If you find a weta hotel, it's important that you don't open the door too often. So if you're with a group, gather together, stay quiet, and open to hotel door once - with everyone taking turns to get a closer look.

DOC and Project Janszoon and going to help us create a monitoring sheet that we can use to record weta data.