Happy New Year!
Thanks to everyone who replied to my request for bird updates over the Christmas period. If anyone else has follow-ups on black-billed gull and black-fronted tern colonies along Canterbury rivers, particularly estimates of fledgeling success, it would be greatly appreciated. Reports are added to DOC’s database, which is used to inform research. Without research and data, it’s next to impossible to develop and get funding for, much less implement management strategies to reverse the rapid decline in braided river bird numbers.
Speaking of funding, just before Christmas we learned that BRaid’s application to the Department of Internal Affairs Environment and Heritage Fund (Lotto) for the Braided River Partnerships Project (BRPP – summary proposal) over the next 3 years, was granted. We would like to express our gratitude to the Department of Internal Affairs for their support. The $72,000 awarded will allow us to expand the project, funded in part by DOC, to more rivers, sooner, and with it more opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with commercial braided river users. To learn more and find out how you can be part of the project, please come along to our next meeting on Friday 26th February. In the meantime, I will be changing a few pages around on the website and adding more content on the Partnerships Project. Please let me know if you see any errors on the site, whether it’s a broken link, factual error, or just a typo. I am by no means infallible.
Community Environment Fund opens in April: Still on the subject of funding, for anyone interested in starting a river care group, or those of you wanting to strengthen community relationships or raising awareness in your community, this is an ideal fund. One of BRaid’s roles is to assist you, so please do contact us if you would like help or advice about applying.
World Wetlands Day at Travis Wetlands: Join this free field-based workshop on running citizen science Projects for education and monitoring at the Mahinga Kai Exemplar; presented by Shane Orchard and Colin Meurk. Free BBQ at 5.30pm and guided wetlands walk at 7.00pm.
The Messengers – what birds tell us about threats from climate change: This beautifully presented first-ever global synthesis by the 119-nation BirdLife International Partnership (which includes Forest & Bird) draws on research from multiple disciplines and every continent to examine the impacts of climate change on bird species. Available as a 39 page 2PDF, the infographics are as effective and stunning as the extraordinary photographs.
War of the Lupins: The December issue of New Zealand Geographic featured an article on the clash between farming and conservation values when it comes to Russell lupins. Nick Ledgard’s letter of response was viewed some 800 times on our Facebook page within a very short period. Clearly, the issue is of interest.
Summer Drying on the Ashley River: Nick Ledgard, Steve Attwood, and Associate Minister of Conservation Nicky Wagner took a trip along the drying Ashley Rakahuri River in later December. It’s a great example of how a river care group working with ECan and gravel extractors can create a fantastic water hole on a hot summer’s day, well away from breeding birds.
Science coming in from the cold? Reversing a decade-long global trend in science journalism, the weekly science page that runs in the Dominion Post and Press newspapers is now being syndicated across four additional Fairfax newspapers, increasing the page’s potential reach to nearly 560,000 readers each week.
And it’s not just newspapers. You can apply now for the 2016 Science Journalism Fellowship – the Science Media Centre will help pay your journalism school fees.
Averse to social media? Here’s a roundup of some recent news:
- Reports just in of ‘massacred’ gulls, terns, and possibly albatross at Ashburton River entrance (The Guardian)
- Dead sheep dumped in Opihi River (Stuff)
- In 2003 four species of shorebird were on the IUCN endangered list, now it is 13 species (Miranda Shorebird Trust)
- Series of DOC presentations in Kaikoura highlight diverse wildlife (Stuff)
- Sitting Ducks: Why Millions of Arctic Seabirds Are in Danger (Audobon magazine)
- Mass death of common murrs (an Alaskan seabirds that can ‘fly’ to depth up to 200m) (ABC News)
BRaid’s next meeting: Friday 26 February 1.00pm at Ngai Mahi Road. Please note, this has been changed from the previously announced Friday 19 Feb.
Braided River Conference : Tuesday 31 May 2015
If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.