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 Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news