Firstly, a reminder that the Braided Rivers Seminar is on 29 June. Click here to reserve a seat.
Winter is here, and with it, plenty of reading material for you to peruse by the fire. We have a number of reports from the last breeding season, and also two must-read reports: Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman’s: New Zealand’s fresh waters: Values, state, trends and human impacts and the equally sobering Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright’s report on the state of New Zealand’s birds, Taonga of an island nation: Saving New Zealand’s birds‘, published yesterday. Reading over the PCE report this morning, I was pleased to see that it also draws attention to the complex and often opposing issues of resilience, restoration, and genetic manipulation. The overarching question that comes from these reports, something also touched on in an (open access) paper in the journal Nature published today, is not so much what can be saved, but what should be saved, and how we go about saving whatever ‘it’ is. For example, should a habitat be restored to what it once was, when the conditions that created and maintained it no longer exist? What about the species that need/ed it? Should hybridisation be embraced as a natural selection strategy ? Or should it be eschewed in order to maintain the genetic ‘purity’ of a species (whatever ‘species’ really means)? And what about our existing conservation policies? How much do they also need to be adapted to fit changing knowledge and priorities yet to be determined? Something to ponder as you read these reports.
Now showing at Arts in Oxford: From the Rivers to the Sea Exhibition + Flyways Print Exchange , an international project that echoes the flight of migratory birds through artwork. This 5-week combined exhibition also features a community arts project inviting people to create members of #TheFlockNZ:, and display them in the gallery and around town.
A quick comparative look at the number of Black-billed gulls breeding on Canterbury Rivers 2014-2016. (Bear in mind it is only a few years, the results may also reflect improved monitoring techniques, and it does not include fledgling success).
The Waimakariri River Regional Park Braided River Bird Management report for 2016-2017 is now available.
Update on the Lower Waitaki River Bird Habitat Enhancement project
Update on the Rangitata Predator Control Programme/ Wrybill Black Fronted Tern monitoring (DOC Newsletter page 2 of 2)
The next Networking for the Environment in greater Christchurch event will be on Thursday, 3rd August 9:00am-1:00pm at the Fendleton Library
From around the web:
- Central Otago District Council to consider independent report into economic impact of ORC’s proposed water plan changes (Stuff)
- Weed-covered Orari and Opihi riverbeds ‘serious matter’ for declining bird habitat (Timaru Herald)
- The ‘Ecology of De-extinction’ Special Feature from the British Ecological Society published in its entirety (all free to access)
- Where have all the insects gone? (Science Magazine)
- Large Conservation Gains Possible (Nature): “…an additional 5% of the land has the potential to more than triple the protected range of species or phylogenetic or functional units.”
Publicise your event!
Don’t forget to publicise your event on BRaid’s online calendar of events If you remind me a week or so ahead, I’ll also promote it through our social media network. This is FREE publicity, so take advantage of it.
BRaid’s next meeting: Friday 1.00pm 14 July at the DOC offices, 31 Ngai Mahi Road, Sockburn.
Membership Renewal is due September each year. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.
Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.