Thank you to everyone who attended the Braided Rivers seminar last month. Also thank you to those who let me know they could not come, as that meant everyone one the waitlist was able to attend. Far better than having a lecture theatre dotted with empty seats! All but one of the presentations are available as PDFs here. I would strongly recommend looking at these presentations if you were unable to attend, as they condense hundreds if not thousands of hours of some seriously dedicated work across several sectors in the braided rivers space. A very special thank you to all of you who presented or who supported the work that was so well-showcased in these presentations. Due to popular demand, rather than waiting 2 years for the next seminar, we are already planning one for July 2020.
International Conference on Wetlands
The call for symposium and workshop proposals closes at the end of this month, for the 11th International Conference on Wetlands to be held in Christchurch 18-23 October. The theme for the conference is: traditional knowledge and innovative science in wetland research and management.
BRaid website upgrade
When I built the site some 4 years ago, it was on a shoestring budget using free-web based systems that were never designed to host the number of pages and functions that have been jammed into it since then. The system is slowly degrading and some operational aspects will no longer be supported in early 2020. To that end, and thanks to funding from ECan to keep BRaid’s communications and outreach programmes going strongly, I am currently re-writing and re-building the site on a different platform. If you come across outdated files or errors on the exiting site, please bear with me as I’m hoping to have everything updated and upgraded by the end of August. At that time I will contact a few key people and ask you to look over one or two pages each. Once the site is launched, please do nit-pick, as no one, certainly not me, should edit their own work.
The next BRaid meeting
Will be 06 September at the DOC offices, Nga Mahi Rd., Sockburn. The AGM will be at 2.00pm, followed by the GM. You do not have to be a member to attend, but you do need to be a member to vote at the AGM, and we would love to see you there.
Sonny Whitelaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently released reports
- Braided River Research and Management Priorities: Terrestrial invertebrates, lizards, terrestrial native plants, terrestrial weed invasions, and geomorphology, wetlands, river mouth and estuaries (DOC) 2019
- ECan updated ‘Canterbury Wetlands’ geographic information system (GIS) layer on Canterbury Maps: (the nerdy geographer in me loves these maps!)
- Does evolution in isolation from mammalian predators have behavioural and chemosensory consequences for New Zealand lizards? (NZ Journal of Ecology)
- Predator Free New Zealand: Social, Cultural, and Ethical Challenges (National Science Challenges)
- “The Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd)… a partnership of universities, governments and non-governmental organizations managed by the non-profit group Island Conservation, wants to use the technology to eliminate invasive rodents from islands, where they wreak havoc on native wildlife. ” (Nature: open access paper)
- Also, just a reminder that ECan and DOC have huge document and research libraries:
News from around the web
- This black-billed gull was banded in 1998 as a chick on the Ashley River. Re-sighted today (July 7) on lower Heathcote in Christchurch. Making it one of the oldest recorded black bill gulls at almost 21 years old (Peter Langlands)
- Banded dotterels from Kaikoura also seen at Port Waikato (Ailsa Howard)
- Black-backed gull eating a rabbit: whole (now if only we could train them to do that)
- …and no, the above video was not a one-off. This was filmed 10 years earlier.
- Heritage site would help 12,000km migratory journey for tiny NZ birds (and also wrybill!) (NZ Herald)
- Wildlife Management International has just returned to Molesworth to prepare for another season of protecting black-fronted terns
- How does invasive vegetation affect our braided rivers? (time-lapse animations from NIWA)
- Australia’s feral cats kill more than 800 million mammals every year (Nature)
- The next 5-year Bird Atlas was launched 01 June at ebird.org
- A bird-based game takes wing (Nature) (okay, I ‘fess up, I bought one!)
- Predator Free NZ is selling 5Kg buckets of Pic’s peanut butter for traps (PF NZ)
- Two-thirds of the world’s rivers no longer run free (Science)
- How does plastic harm migratory birds? (East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership)
- Moa footprints found in Otago (Stuff)
- Driver prosecuted for running down red-billed gulls (Stuff)
- How robust grasshoppers are being saved (Stuff) and..
- Saving the Robust Grasshopper (Canterbury Museum)
- A scary statistic: The biomass of wasps in South Island beech forests outweighs all other pest species combined
- New Zealand’s North Island sea bird population in ‘serious decline’ (Stuff)
- Tiny creatures doing big work in rivers and streams are threatened by climate change (Stuff)
- Intensive netting suppresses invasive fish, improves numbers of NZ species (Stuff)
- Federated Farmers admits it’s time to start cleaning up Southland rivers (Stuff)
- Not in the least BRaid related, but something for the evolutionary biologists out there: maybe Lamarck wasn’t completely wrong… (Science Alert)
…and to finish this newsletter, a little uplifting video about a gutsy little Adele penguin defending emperor penguin chicks.