Top image: Cow Island
Don’t forget, if you are planning on attending the next braided rivers seminar, you must book. Membership to BRaid does not automatically assure entry, as spaces are limited.
One part of the Waiau Toa/Clarence River black-fronted tern restoration project (which you can read about here) included improving habitat quality by removing woody weeds and ‘engineering’ islands to be both more resistant to flooding and less accessible to predators. Wildlife Management International followed up the initial project in March 2022 by scouting for potential islands that could benefit from bulldozer construction and/or weed clearance. The top photo is Cow Island before the restoration work was done. As you can see from the image, it wasn’t exactly an island. But with a channel bulldozed through the middle, it is now:
You can see the full report here; it’s short on words, but the before and after photos of five different islands, and the enhancement work done between March and April this year along the river tell the entire story. Well done, everyone.
Sonny Whitelaw email@example.com
Bird surveys (plus an honorary mention of last year’s Bird of the Year):
- Lower Waimakariri River 2021-2022 Braided River Bird Breeding Report (ECan)
- Lower Rangitata River 2021-2002 monitoring (Wildlands Cons.)
- Collated short reports from several South island rivers on the impacts
of human disturbance during the 2021-2022 breeding season (this website)
- Makarora River – no full report yet, but interestingly, they had a positive record of a foraging long-tailed bat/pekapeka-tou-roa during May.
- Ashley River – no full report yet, but the video is a glimpse:
- Radar powered forecasts; City lights lure migratory birds, with lethal results, but weather radar and modeling can help reduce toll (Science news)
- Eradication – we’ve all got a role: (Predator Free NZ Trust Youtube webinar)
- Newly digitalised historic maps from the 1800s (Canterbury Maps)
- The Plight of the Pohowera (April/May Latitude Magazine story on Ailsa Howard’s South Bay Dotteral Research)
- Speaking of which, congratulations to Ailsa and Ted, recipients of the Queen’s Service Medal.
- Radio NZ’s ‘Aotearoa History Show’ Season 2 has kicked off with Episode 1: Rabbits & other Pests
- New legislation to modernise the management of 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land primarily in the South Island high country was passed in Parliament May 12.
- In contrast, how the AM show turned the documentary Milked – White Lies in Dairy Land into a greenwashed dairy sector promo.
- Island enhancement on the Waiau Toa-Clarence River (WMIL)
- Lower Waimakariri River pest mammal control plan (WMIL)
- Animal pest management plan for the lower Ashley Rakahuri (Wildlands)
- Operational management plan for the enhancement of avifauna habitat at three sites in the lower Hakatere/Ashburton River (Wildlands Cons. for ECan)
- Draft National Adaptation Plan (MfE): submissions open until 03 June. Managing rivers are a key part of this plan, where expensive (and in some locations arguably maladaptive) flood protection may take priority over ecosystem health if insufficient people advocate on behalf of braided river ecosystems. This is what we can expect by way of flooding in Canterbury.
- Space invaders: A review of how New Zealand manages weeds that threaten native ecosystems (Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment)
- New Horizons in The Politics of Water Governance New Zealand Geographer Special Issue Vol 78 Issue 1 (most of the articles are open access)
- Wauchope et al; Protected areas have a mixed impact on waterbirds, but management helps, Nature 605, pp103–107
- Hudson et al, Modeling how population size drives the evolution of birdsong, a functional cultural trait, Evolution