The next BRaid meeting is Friday 13th May at 4.00pm.Please note the later time, which we hope will result in fewer peak hour traffic snarls, while still getting most of you in home in time for dinner. I will be sending out the agenda early next week. If you have anything you would like to add, please let me know.
At that meeting, I will be reporting on the progress of the Braided River Partnership Programme. We will also be launching a new project to promote the arrival of braided rivers birds in Spring. The concept was hatched in the UK last year, and like all great ideas, soon migrated. First stop was the Miranda Shorebird Centre. It’s now winged its way down to us. The project is simple, fun, creative, and everyone of any age who can hold a crayon or paintbrush (or crochet or knitting needles…) can take part. And (I admit this is the fiction writer in me coming to the fore) we’re adding a slight twist that involves a little mystery and intrigue. It’s also inexpensive, especially if you have any corflute or spare plywood in your garage (or know anyone who has offcuts they can donate), but like any good projects, we’re going to need your help to make it happen.
I will also be bringing to the meeting the new brochures and credit-card sized fridge magnets of black-fronted terns, black-billed gulls, and wrybill to distribute – they make great giveaways at school talks!
BRaid Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Final submissions for the Proposed Northern Pegasus Bay Bylaw are due by Tuesday 10th May. (Note, this links to the copy I have, which is not the final proposed document, but can be used to make further submissions. It includes comprehensive maps. I will be removing this copy next Tuesday at 5.00pm)
“A number of changes are proposed as a result of the 221 submissions received following the 2015 consultation process. The changes are designed to improve public health and safety and manage a balance between the recreational use of the beaches and any resulting environmental impacts.”
BRaid and ARRG made earlier submissions, which, along with meetings and negotiations with kite-surfers, have been incorporated into the current proposal, which places limits on on kite-surfing and land yachts. While we would like to see a complete ban on offroad vehicles, the current version of the document has placed limits on access, and conditions such as:
- Vehicles must stay clear of areas of driftwood and other detritus likely to be used for bird habitat areas in the Ashley River/Rakahuri and Saltwater Creek Estuarine area
- Dogs, horses, land yachts, drones and model aircraft are prohibited from the Ashley River/Rakahuri and Saltwater Creek Estuarine area
- Microlights and helicopters are prohibited from taking off or landing in the Ashley River/Rakahuri and Saltwater Creek Estuarine area.
Thanks to Stephanie Galla for organising the Braided River Awareness and Fundraising Auction at the Nut Point Centre last month. It was a great success, with over $6,500.00 raised for the Kakī Recovery Programme. This funding will be used to set up a new release site for kakī in the Mackenzie Basin. Many thanks again to all artists and participants on Saturday! The auction featured stunning art and crafts, great wines, and a chance to promote our undervalued braided rivers through some wonderful creative talents. Nicola Toki, DOC’s Endangered Species Ambassador, gave a great speech that really highlights the plight of braided rivers: “I could probably do my job, just on braided rivers alone, and it would keep me in full time employment.”
Wader Quest in the UK has just published the second consecutive article on BRaid. We have another article about estuaries lined up for publication in June. WaderQuest also makes donations to conservation projects around the world, including New Zealand. With visitors from 160 countries regularly accessing their website, it’s a great way to draw international attention to your projects. Drop the chairman, Rick Simpson, a line if you are interested in contributing – great pictures are always welcome (thanks to Steve Attwood for the pictures used in the BRaid articles).
Predator Free New Zealand has also been writing some excellent articles about BRaid, braided rivers, and predator research over the past few weeks:
- Research comparing nine different detection techniques for mammalian predators, and;
- BRaid comes to aid of ancient rivers and rare birdlife
Community groups, hapū/iwi and private landowners around the country are making a huge contribution to predator control in NZ. Unfortunately the scale of this work is not clearly understood. Predator Free New Zealand would like you to help, by adding the details of your predator control to their national map. It’s a super quick process (just 3 questions) and if you have any problems, drop Sarah Pennell a line.
Upcoming events and conferences:
- 10 May: Forest & Bird:Hugh Wilson naturalist, author, illustrator and long-term manager of internationally renowned Hinewai Reserve near Akaroa is coming to what he terms “the car-infested swamp” to give the Lance McCaskill Memorial address at the Forest & Bird North Canterbury branch AGM 7.30pm Tuesday 10th May, 2016, at the WEA 59 Gloucester St (opposite the Art Gallery).
- 18-20 May: Conservation Inc 2 (Dunedin)
- 20 May: wave bye to Whitebait on their journey (free event to celebrate ‘World Fish Migration Day’.)
- 31 May: Braided River Conference (Lincoln) (waitlisted)
- 4-6 June: 2016 NZ Bird Conference Napier (Hawkes Bay).
Roundup of recent news (mostly short video clips) from around the web:
What does coral bleaching have to do with braided river birds? Everything. These compelling videos show what’s happening right now.
- The real value of Matauranga Maori: Connecting Indigenous Knowledge with Science (excellent 5 min. video clip by Dr John Perrott, Auckland University of Technology)
- At last, birds fight back! (not for cat lovers…) Eagle: 1; Cat:0
- Yes, Rats Can Swim Up Your Toilet. And It Gets Worse Than That (National Geographic video clip): how easily rats climb inside via your toilet, how their rib cage is hinged to collapse to enter tiny holes, and how they can tread water for 3 days.
- How to Break Canterbury’s Water Stalemate: Stuff Op-Ed by Murray Rodgers
Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.
BRaid’s next meeting: Friday 4.00pm 13 May at Ngai Mahi Road.
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.