Just nine sleeps to go until the Braided River Awareness and Fundraising Auction at the Nut Point Centre Saturday 16 April 4-6pm. Fantastic artwork, fine food, great company, and some wonderful items to bid on. This is a not-to-be missed event, and I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Thanks everyone who have booked a place for the Braided Rivers Workshop. It’s going to be great day as we have some exceptional speakers. The workshop is now full, so if you have booked but find you are unable to attend, please cancel your ticket so that it can be released to those now waitlisted.
To raise the awareness of braided river birds, we have (or will when all the boxes arrive on my doorstep) new brochures and 4,500 credit-card sized fridge magnets for distribution, 1500 each of three birds (click on links to see the designs; the blue is not as bright in the final print): black-fronted terns, black-billed gulls, and wrybill. The goal is to have a set of these magnets in households and businesses along braided rivers everywhere, so if you think you can help distribute them, let me know (they make great giveaways at school talks!)
BRaid Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Water for sale in Ashburton: It’s all over news and social media, but Dr Eric Crampton asks an interesting question: it takes about 250 litres of water to produce a litre of milk (mostly for export), so how low does the price of milk have to be before it would make more sense to leave out the middle-cow and bottle water for export?
Predator Free New Zealand aims to map all the trapping programmes currently underway in New Zealand, not just in braided rivers, but every hill and dale, backyard and bush, forest and alpine area. If you trap predators using one trap or a hundred (or more!) can you please email Sarah Pritchett: email@example.com with details?
Black-billed gull study: Disturbance and Predation: Claudia Mischler’s report on the summer season 2015/2016 in the Buller and Wairau Rivers is now available.
Forest & Bird and Birds New Zealand have just completed IDs of NZ’s Marine Important Bird Areas: The Sites on Land (featuring black-billed gulls and black fronted terns on the cover) is a ‘must have’ free resource for braided rivers researchers and practitioners.
Open Letter to Cat Rescue Christchurch: Steve Attwood asks why 8 cats, mostly feral, were recently released near the Ashley River estuary after being neutered (as if neutering stops them from killing birds…)
Young Birders NZ: Do you know any young people interested in birds? Do you give talks or presentatins to school groups? This groups is working to engage children to enjoy bird-watching.
Ashley Estuary threats from vehicles and dogs: Wading birds love the large, relatively firm area of tidal stony shallows created by the current flow patterns in the estuary, but the easy access has attracted vehicles and dogs off leash to chase birds. The photos tell the story.
Discover our Estuaries: Speaking of estuaries, DOC’s interactive website is proving to be popular. Go check it out.
Black stilt/kaki returns to the Ashley River: Banded BKOY/BKY, this black stilt was released at the Tekapo Scientific Reserve on 14-Jan-13 and was last sighted on 21-Mar-15 at the Ashley Estuary. It seems that it has decided that the Ashley is a good place to spend the Autumn having arrived back in March again this year.
Nina Valley Ecoblitz 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. Only a few places remain for schools.
- 18-20 May: Conservation Inc 2 (Dunedin)
- 31 May: Braided River Conference (Lincoln) (waitlisted)
- 4-6 June: 2016 NZ Bird Conference Napier (Hawkes Bay).
Roundup of recent news from around the web, including peer reviewed research:
- The Cornell Lab of Ornithology have created a fantastic interactive Wall of Birds
- A new bird for New Zealand! Te Papa explains how the Northern Fulmar, a species never before recorded in the Southern Hemisphere is now officially a bird of New Zealand.
- Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: (Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics). Nineteen co-authors paint a compelling picture (NB: this links Columbia University options to download the full or abbreviated version and also the video introduction).
- Toxic algae and the link to mass seabird deaths: toxic algae blooms on the rise in marine ecosystems
- The elephant in the room we can’t ignore: editorial in the journal Nature considers how scientists are contributing to the downfall of democracy and the growing anti-scientific sentiment