This is a reminder that the next BRaid meeting is this coming Friday 26 February at 2.20pm, not 1.00pm, at DOC offices, Nga Mai Rd. Sockburn. We will be holding a manager’s meeting at 1.00pm, prior to the general meeting. I will be sending the agenda and last meeting’s minutes to all members either Wednesday or Thursday. Please let me know if there is anything to add/apologies.
The Braided Rivers Workshop 31 May programme is now virtually finalised (there may be one or two to add, or some changes in the times) with an excellent and very diverse group of speakers. This workshop is open to the public so please feel free to invite anyone you feel may be interested. We have not yet had many poster submission, so again, if you know of anyone who would like to present a poster on any braided-river related topic, including sociology (eg community engagement) to hydrology and ecology, please let them know. You can register for the workshop here. It is entirely free of charge, and includes lunch and teas/coffees etc throughout the day.
We are also starting to get calls from people interested in becoming part of the Braided Rivers Partnership Programme. If you would like to know more, the project is outlined in a 3-page PDF. We would really appreciate it if you could pass it along through your networks. I will also be bringing several printed copies with me to the meeting on Friday.
Looking forward to seeing many of you there,
Warning: high levels of the potentially toxic benthic cyanobacteria Phormidium in the Hurunui River at State Highway 7 (the road to Hanmer Springs)
Videos of ferrets and cat decimating black-fronted terns on the Clarence/Acheron Rivers: videos courtesy of Wildlife International Limited (who will also be giving a presentation on the DOC funded project at the Braided Rivers Workshop)
Power station gulls need a new home: Endangered black-billed gulls are creating havoc for staff at Genesis Energy’s Tokaanu power station. The CNI team wants your ideas on how to successfully move them to a new habitat.
A glorious day on the Waitaki rivermouth: Fantastic photos from Ann-Kathrin Schlesselmann of nesting white-fronted terns, roosting black-billed gulls, and many more.
From Ann-Kathrin Schlesselmann
It was a stunner day down here and I used the opportunity to go out to the Waitaki river mouth. The bar is full of birdlife starting with banded dotterels, oystercatchers, red-billed gulls, black-billed gulls, white-fronted tern, shags and black-back gulls. There is a massive colony of white-fronted terns (more than 500 birds). I saw more than 250 chicks and some birds are still sitting on eggs. There is a small number of red-billed gulls on nests with a few chicks and a reasonable sized black-bill gull colony. I saw ca. 30 black-bill gull chicks, but couldn’t see the backside of the island they were on. There were many more black-bill gulls roosting.
Hopefully the start of the salmon season won’t disturb the birdlife out there.
(NB: some of the photos below were taken through binoculars; click on the images to enlarge)
Nina Valley Ecoblitz 2017 : The 2014 event, which brought together 170 students and 130 scientists and conservation professionals over one weekend, won the Green Ribbon Award for Communication and Education and also the Paramount Green Ribbon Award. As one of the organisers, I’m using this newsletter as our first official announcement that we’re running the next EcoBlitz 10-12 March 2017. If you are interested in attending as a scientist/conservation professional, volunteer/assistant, or know any schools that would like to apply, please register.
Roundup of recent news from around the web, including peer reviewed research:
- Unclear what killed eels in Marlborough creek (Stuff)
- Widespread algae-produced neurotoxins killing marine mammals off Alaska, possibly related to mass seabird deaths? (NOAA)
- Three decades of multi-dimensional change in global leaf phenology (Nature Climate Change – this was open access when I downloaded it, so if anyone wants a copy…)
- Photo of lupins devastating river in NZ wins ‘Garden Photographer of the Year 2016’ award (UK Guardian)
- Will there be more fish or plastic in the sea in 2050? (BBC News reflects on the World Economic Forum ‘The New Plastics Economy’ )
- Educating for Sustainability conference: University of Auckland 9-12 February.
Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.
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. I’ll send members an agenda later this week or early next week.
Braided River Conference : Tuesday 31 May 2015
Membership 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.