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Braided River Aid

Our story

New Zealand’s braided rivers are networks of ever-changing channels weaving between islands of gravels. They are home to an extraordinary diversity of birds, fish, invertebrates and plants that have adapted to live in this challenging and dynamic environment. Having evolved to live here, they depend on braided rivers for their survival. But they are increasingly under threat. Some are on the verge of extinction and may vanish forever if nothing is done to protect what remains. There is also good news.  Over the past several years, work has been done to enhance breeding habitats, and the population of some species is increasing.

Wrybill arriving at Kaitorete Spit after migrating from their winter feeding grounds in the North Island-  image: Ira Redpenning

In 2006, concerned about the declining state of our braided river species and ecosystems, BRaid was formed by people from all across New Zealand’s South Island. Functioning as an umbrella group, we work to protect, enhance and restore braided river ecosystems through co-operation and partnerships with iwi, individuals, schools, community groups, commercial and recreational stakeholders, and with government departments responsible for river management including local and regional councils, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Land Information NZ. We also work closely with Lincoln, Otago, and Canterbury Universities, Crown Research Institutes such as NIWA, and environmental management companies to support research and on-the-ground action to restore braided river ecosystems through a wide range of practical initiatives.

Our objectives

  1. Provide effective leadership and advocacy, and encourage co-operation between all parties whose interests and activities involve braided rivers
  2. Promote research and management to reverse the decline of braided river ecosystems
  3. Collect, store, and share data and information on braided rivers through this website, newsletters, social media, workshops and seminars

Contact Us

We encourage research being undertaken through Crown Research Institutes, universities, DOC, and councils, but are unable to provide support to non-residents wishing to live, work, or do research in New Zealand.

Become a member

Membership (click here) entitles you to join any and all activities including bird surveys, attend and present at meetings, and receive our newsletters (we send them around 6 times a year).

What we do

Thanks to Environment Canterbury Waitaha Action to Impact funding, we:

  • Offer educational materials and speakers
  • Maintain a library of information and resources (this website)
  • Deliver updated information through newsletters and Facebook
  • Design marketing materials and signs used throughout Canterbury and elsewhere
  • Assist with setting up local river-care groups
  • Assist with springtime river-bird surveys (see each river for annual survey results. For a comprehensive database of bird surveys please contact Andy Grant:
  • Monitor populations of colony breeding river-birds for fledging success
  • Provide guidance on predator control and weed clearing programmes
  • Partner with stakeholders that work in and around braided rivers
  • Deliver conservation, bird ID, trapping, and river health course (including fish and macro-invertebrate sampling and ID).
  • Facilitate and run workshops and seminars on river-bird science, trapping workshops, ecosystems, and management: