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

 


Waterfowl numbers 'look encouraging' for game bird season

Waterfowl numbers 'look encouraging' for game bird season

Eastern Region Fish & Game officers are cautiously optimistic for the coming game bird hunting season – after completing their spring survey of nesting waterfowl.

Fish & Game officers have carried out brood counts (mothers with their young) on a series of selected drains across the Bay of Plenty’s coastal plains, that provide habitat for various species of waterfowl.

The brood counts involve travelling along set routes and counting the adults and various age classes of the juvenile birds.

Senior Fish & Game Officer Matthew Mc Dougall says the numbers are up an estimated 22% up on this time last year, with the latest figures the second highest recorded in the past five years.

“The waterfowl population which include ducks like mallard rises and falls in cyclical patterns and we believe we’ve reached the bottom of a trough, and are beginning to see an upward trend,” he says.

Mr Mc Dougall says they are cautiously optimistic for bird numbers because the population has been found to be on a 9.7 year cycle, and last year represented the lowest levels for about eight years, with a large number of juveniles recorded.

“If the population is starting to turn around we can expect hunters to have a better game bird season,” he says.

He says the network of drains provides an important habitat for not only waterfowl, but endangered species such as New Zealand dabchick, and whitebait.

Fish & Game has been working with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to try and improve drain management for the benefit of both organisations, he says. Officers have planted more cover along one of the drains, to give more protection against predators such as hawks and pukeko and also provide a source of food. “We’ve planted mainly low tussock species as ‘edge cover’ for waterfowl.”

It’s still too early to gauge the results of these trials, he adds.

Mr Mc Dougall notes that more research is carried out on waterfowl numbers as officers move into their trapping and banding programme in February. This work provides another measure of the birds’ productivity.

The data gathered from both brood counts and banding is used to set regulations for the coming season, including how long it runs for and what the bag limits should be.

Meanwhile, Fish & Game officers have also been attempting to gauge pheasant numbers in the lead up to the hunting season.

Officers headed out into the Kaingaroa Forest in the first week of November in the early morning to count cock pheasants by the calls they make to mark their territory.

The officer drives along a pre-determined route with a five minute listening stop every couple of kilometres to count the individual pheasants he can hear.

Mr Mc Dougall says there was an average number of birds at the 30-odd sites, although fewer than in the previous two springs.

He says the counts don’t necessarily provide a good indication of how well the breeding season is going, as there may be fewer calls for a variety of reasons, and the season still has some time to run into the new year. Monitoring upland game birds populations is difficult because they mainly live in pine forests.

The game bird hunting season begins on the first Saturday in May.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news