At our last meeting, David Owen from ECan presented ECan’s aims to work with communities and landowners to restore and protect 10 key braided rivers in 10 years (well, 9 now). The Ashley Rakahuri River is the first of these, in part because of the strong and well-documented record of bird counts, trapping results, and relationships between weeds, gravel extraction, and nesting preferences and successes. And in part because a landowner upriver of the group’s primary ‘workspace’ is keen to see how weed removal will help improve the river. This underscores the vital role of citizen science being undertaken by community groups, and the importance of engaging with other members of the community to improve our waterways. Work is already underway on the river, and we look forward to updates.
The Orari River Protection Group also presented at the meeting, on the work they’ve been doing to protect colonies of black-billed gulls and black-fronted terms on the river…a river, I might add, so glutted by weeds its braids have been severely restricted. Nevertheless, their dedicated trappers and some fortuitous work by gravel extractors led to a surprising and very gratifying outcome for the birds. You can read both reports here (scroll down to ‘Bird Surveys’ : 2019).
Braided Rivers Symposium
When: 8.45am – 5.00pm Wednesday 08 July, 2020
Where: Lincoln University (parking is free). More details and a full programme coming soon.
Cost: This is a free event thanks to our event partners LINZ and with assistance from ECan. Lunch, morning, and afternoon teas are included.
Format: Similar to last year, however, this year’s event will include a speakers’ forum to discuss questions and topics presented by you, the attendees. Please submit these with your booking form. They will be collated and sent to the speakers prior to the event.
Sonny Whitelaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports, news, and updates
- Toxic algae: the relationship with higher water temperatures has been well-known for decades. Check with LAWA for the safety of site son each river
- Improving Whitebait Management: have your say! Submissions close 02 March.
- What cats do at night on South Bay, Kaikoura. Tracking cats (with videos to identify the culprit and evidence delivered under a kitchen table) reveals pet moggies are fatally impacting the banded dotterel population.
- Don’t let the title fool you. This Productivity Commission report has some incredibly important recommendations about how rivers are managed in the future. Search the term ‘rivers’ (page 263 is a summary box).
- Following on from the red-billed gull study mention in the last newsletter, Kaikoura Wildlife Rescue has taken to feeding the gulls to help fend off starvation…
- …which makes this peer-reviewed research paper on warming oceans all the more relevant: Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019 (Advances in Atmospheric Sciences Feb.2020)
- Also : Twofold expansion of the Indo-Pacific warm pool warps the MJO life cycle (Nature 575, 647-651)
- Meanwhile, in Otago, an ex-Councillor and doctor calls for gulls be exterminated…
- …which isn’t helped by inaccurate and misleading reporting by Stuff on gulls in Nelson.
- Landowners unite to protect growing Motueka whio population (Stuff)
- Bathurst Coal convicted for discharge into mudfish habitat (Bush Gully Stream) (Stuff)
- Great to see #TheFlockNZ taking flight in Picton!
- Radio NZ interview with Nick Ledgard on the Ashley Rivercare Group (New Zealand Geographic)
- 2.9 billion birds already gone in 50 years: Decline of the North American Avifauna (Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University / Science AAAS)
- Vegetable sheep spotted not wandering along the Cass River
- NZ resources for teaching climate change to children (and adults who may not yet get it) (NZ Curriculum)
- Free to use: 159,000 botanical and animal illustrations (Biodiversity Heritage Library; or direct access via Flikr)
Traps for Sale
This is a fundraiser for the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group. The volunteers make the traps and re-invest the revenue into their own trapping programmes along the river and estuary. DOC 200 traps: $70.00 each; DOC 150s $65.00 each: available to pickup from Rangioara.