Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Godwits in time for Conservation Week

Godwits in time for Conservation Week

The first lot of Godwits from Alaska arrived at Christchurch’s Avon-Heathcote estuaries almost two weeks early; their arrival on Sunday afternoon coinciding with the start of the Conservation Week (September 7-14).

“They snuck in under the radar,” says Council Ranger Andrew Crossland, who was both surprised and concerned at the early arrival. “We are just glad they are here, and we are slightly concerned at the decision taken to leave their home so early,” says Mr Crossland.

Early arrivals have already bumped up the wintering juvenile numbers at the estuary by 122, taking the total bird numbers at the estuary to 326 this (Monday) morning. “They are definitely arriving now,” says Mr Crossland, who keeps a good account of the birds throughout the year. Other areas in Christchurch where the godwits reside for the summer are Lyttelton Harbour, Brooklands Lagoon, Lake Ellesmere and the Ashley Estuary.

The Eastern Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri) arrives in New Zealand after a non-stop 11,000 km flight over the Pacific, landing tired, worn out and starved, and get down straightway into the job of filling out for the trip back home.

The godwits have been steadily losing large chunks of their feeding grounds in Asia, where the birds stop over on their return trip to Alaska at the end of the austral summer.

“We will continue to make the Avon-Heathcote Estuaries safe and stable for these birds, focusing on protecting their estuarine habitat and minimising disturbance impacts,” says Mr Crossland. He adds that most local estuaries are protected in some form or another so the habitat situation was well managed.

“But disturbance can be a real problem, especially at high tide when the Godwits roost on the beach and are disturbed by passing walkers or dogs off their leads. If the birds cannot get sufficient rest they are unlikely to reach peak condition prior to migration and risk dying from exhaustion at sea,” he says.

Also coinciding with the arrival of the godwits is the distribution to Christchurch primary schools of a children’s book celebrating the importance of godwits. The distribution is undertaken by the Avon-Heathcote Ihutai Trust, a non-profit organisation formed by the public and supported by Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury.

“Skalaska’s New Home” will be sent out to schools over the next 14 days, with the aim to develop a better understanding among children for the godwits. “It is delightful story for children to understand what it would be like to be just a little bird in a strange country and the problems it faces to survive,” saysTanya Jenkins, Education committee member for the Ihutai Trust.

The story is about Skalaska, the young godwit who flies into Christchurch with his family, and the problems they face in the estuary; Skalaska gets caught in litter carelessly dropped by people visiting the estuary, putting him into a very dangerous situation.

The book is written by Marlene Bennetts, local well-known children's book author with delightful graphics by another local, Trish Bowles, says Ms Jenkins

Safety note:

Walkers can minimise their impact to almost zero if they give the roosting flocks a wide berth and walk between the birds and the dunes (never between the birds and sea as this frightens the birds). People walking dogs have a legal obligation to prevent their animals from chasing protected wildlife, so all dogs should be under effective control. If any member of the public observes dogs chasing the Godwits or other wildlife they should report this to the CCC animal control team.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election