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CBAC Rock Wren Methodology 

The credit:

Each CBAC Rock Wren enables the maintenance of 1 trap for 1 year, protecting 16 hectares of Rock Wren habitat.


1 credit = $350 = 16 hectares of protection


The project:


Rock Wren/ Tuke are New Zealands only true alpine bird that lives above the bushline year round. Rock Wren are extremely resilient in hostile alpine conditions, their nests can be as warm as 30 degrees despite below freezing temperatures.


Despite this Rock Wren are extremely threatened by predators. In areas where there is predator control, around 85% of nests are successful in fledging young. In areas where there is no predator control, nesting success is 0 – 30% and populations are at risk of extinction.

The Rock Wren population is unknown but they are nationally endangered. 

Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust, Rees Valley Station and LINZ have been collectively working in the Rees Valley to protect native biodiversity for over 10 years. The Southern Lakes Sanctuary has recently expanded on the valley trapping to include the alpine environments of Kea Basin, the Upper Rees and , Rees Saddle and Hunter Creek with a focus on the protection of alpine species including Rock Wren. The Department of Conservation do not complete rock wren surveys in the Rees, however, they complete surveys in the adjoining Dart and Routeburn Valleys, where predator control has shown to be successful with supporting the rock wren population.

This project uses kea proof DOC 200 traps for mustelids (and to a lesser extent rats) to catch predators on public conservation land in the Rees Valley. 

Trap spacing is as close as possible to 1 trap per 100 metres along transects,  as possible given difficult alpine terrain. All traps are located in the alpine environment, traps will be strategically placed based on prior monitoring to confirm the best location for Rock WrenKea protection. For this reason your GPS coordinates for these credits may change slightly after purchase based on final trap placements. 


Funds from your credit are required to be spent on;

  • Transport

  • Monitoring equipment (cameras, SD cards, tracking tunnels)

  • Bait, lure and trap maintenance supplies

  • Staff health and safety equipment

  • Field crew wages

  • Project support costs




As part of the Rock Wren project there is annual predator monitoring (all work is completed by the Southern Lakes Sanctuary)  including: 

  • Tracking tunnels for stoat and rat abundance - two sets of 10 lines (alpine and forest) are completed 3 times per year;

  • Baited motion sensor camera monitoring on the stoat tracking tunnel lines, completed 3 times a year;

  • Motion sensor camera monitoring (baited) for feral cat abundance, 20 cameras are used and camera monitoring is undertaken before and after feral cat control work during the autumn. This is completed in the valley and alpine areas in the Rees Valley (this will also provide information on mustelid visits);

  • Waxtag monitoring was undertaken in the lower Rees in 2022/2023

  •  with motion sensor cameras,  tracking tunnels, and observations. 


Monitoring for Rock Wren and other native bird species in the area include;

  • Initial rock wren surveys were completed by Southern Lakes Sanctuary staff in March 2022, these surveys will be expanded likely to counts on line transects that will be established in the alpine, these surveys will completed on an annual basis; 

  • Incidental kea and rock wren sightings are recorded in eBird (completed by Southern Lakes Sanctuary staff);

  • Braided river surveys in the Rees valley (annually, when possible), Southern Lakes Sanctuary staff will assist with this work;

  • Bat surveys are completed by DOC in the lower Rees (near Mt Alfred), Southern Lakes Sanctuary will expand on this monitoring using acoustic devices;

  • Environmental DNA monitoring has previously been completed by Southern Lakes Sanctuary in 25 mile and Hunter Creek.

  • Species specific surveys and 5 minute bird count. 


Updates on the project are sent through annually to credit owners. 


Date - Sale 1 Sept - End 2023  

Credit action 1 Jan - End of 2024

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