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

 

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news