Firstly, a reminder that the next BRaid meeting is Friday 3.00pm (not 1.30pm as previously advertised) 14 July at the DOC offices, 31 Ngai Mahi Road, Sockburn. I will be emailing an agenda to members in the next few days. You do not need to be a member to come along, indeed, the meetings are open to the public.
Secondly, at 2.30pm Saturday 15 July, there will be a braided river birds discussion panel as the finale to the 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. The format is fluid, with Tammy Steeves and Stephanie Galla (Canterbury University) and myself opening the discussion that features little-understood and thus the somewhat contentious issues of climate change and new conservation technologies, including genetics. If you would like to be part of the panel, please contact me. Otherwise, come along and ask lots of difficult and ethically challenging questions. While we are all aware of the existing (and sometimes equally contentious) issues surrounding braided rivers and river bird conservation, the aim of this discussion is to direct a spotlight on new and confronting issues in a public forum.
Thank you to those of you who were able to attend the Braided Rivers Seminar 29 June. For those unable to attend, the feedback has included words like, ‘fascinating’, ‘informative’, ‘inspirational’, and clearly left many people with a greater sense of promise and purpose thanks to some of the latest field research, much of which is being undertaken by Masters and PhD students.
If you come across injured birds or orphaned chicks (be sure they are actually orphaned, for example, beside a dead parent!), the South Island Wildlife Hospital (at Willowbank in Christchurch) have successfully rehabilitated and released a car-injured black-billed gull, and Oxford Bird Rescue (Oxford) have an incubator.
Finally, over the next few days, I will be adding aerial footage taken last week over the Ashburton, Orari, upper Waitaki, Tasman, Makarora, and upper Waimakariri Rivers, to each of the respective river pages on our website, and also loading them to our Facebook page. After battling through willows and then gorse along the upper Waitaki, it was shocking to take the drone over several kilometres to see how much weeds have choked the river. The Orari (links to the first video) is similarly choked.
Meanwhile, this composite of 40+ photos is a 360 degree aerial of the Tasman River braid plain where kaki are released, between Aoraki Mt Cook and Lake Pukaki (apologies for my son’s typo; he’s an engineer, not a geomorphologist). If you don’t have Facebook, click on ‘not now’ in the popup window asking you to join, and click on the photo behind it. Give it a few moments to load as it’s 4K resolution.
- Change of venue for the next Networking for the Environment in greater Christchurch event on Thursday, 3rd August 9:00am-1: 00 pm. It will now be held at Te Hāpua Hao (Lounge): Halswell Service Centre 341 Halswell Rd.
- A Fresh Approach to Water: 6.30pm Wednesday 19 July. Presenters: David Parker, Labour; Lan Pham, Ecan Councillor; Kevin Hague, Forest & Bird
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. NB: the event must be related to braided rivers or river birds.
From around the web:
- Life aloft: The unexplored ecosystem above your head: We have nature reserves on land and at sea, but the sky has never been considered a habitat, let alone one worth preserving, until now.
- Baby Bird from Time of Dinosaurs Found Fossilized in Amber: The 99-million-year-old hatchling from the Cretaceous Period is the best preserved of its kind.
- Why do eggs have so many shapes? Not all eggs are shaped like a chicken’s—now we know why.
- Birds use cigarette butts for chemical warfare against ticks: Is this a cigarette habit with some benefits? A species of urban bird seems to harness the toxic chemicals in cigarette butts in its fight against nest parasites – although there is a downside to the practice.
- A long-term study of Murray Basin wetlands reveals impacts of dams: A 30-year-long UNSW study of wetlands in eastern Australia has found that construction of dams and diversion of water from the Murray-Darling Basin have led to a more than 70 per cent decline in waterbird numbers.
- DOC has put a bounty out for the Dirty Dozen common weeds. Submit sightings to be in to win $100. Competition closes 30 August 2017.
- The Community Environment Fund is now open for funding applications
- The QEII Community Weedbusters Project is open for funding applications – see here for more details