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

 

Survey Supports Reduced Duck Season

Media release from Eastern Fish & Game

Survey Supports Reduced Duck Season

Eastern Region’s four-week duck-hunting season has been justified by the early results from a Fish & Game survey of hunter success analysed this week.

The game bird season for mallard and grey duck will finish at Queen’s Birthday weekend in the Eastern Fish & Game Region, although upland game birds and other species such as paradise shelduck and black swan have a longer season extending into July and August.

"Our summer monitoring showed us that the population of mallard and grey duck was low and that was the basis of the Fish and Game Council’s decision to limit it to a four-week season," Eastern Fish & Game manager Rob Pitkethley said. "The opening day results from the hunter survey showed hunters had a low harvest and this certainly supports the reduced season length."

The survey showed that an estimated 11,500 mallard and grey ducks were harvested throughout the region, which stretches from Waihi Beach to Wairoa and includes the Bay of Plenty coastal reserves, parts of the Waikato River and Reporoa, forests including Rotoehu, and the Gisborne-East Coast district.

This figure was down from last year's estimated opening weekend harvest of 15,800, although better than the estimated 9500 birds harvested in 2003.

Eastern Region Fish & Game issued nearly 3400 licenses for the season so far, 200 down on last year, although the game bird hunter survey found only 53 percent of license holders actually went out on opening weekend compared to the normal average of 73 percent.

"We suspect this had a lot to do with the drought and hunters heading for their normal ponds were put off by the lack of water," Eastern Region Senior Fish & Game officer Matthew McDougall said. 

The flip side was the birds became more concentrated through the Eastern Region, heading for estuaries, rivers and lakes which weren't affected by the drought.  Hunters who ventured into these areas generally did well, while the average number of greys and mallards harvested was 6.3 birds per hunter, dipping slightly from the 6.5 last year but still well on a par with the last six years.

Recent rain has helped some of the drier areas to become more productive in the last few weeks and Fish & Game were encouraging hunters to get out for the rest of the season and make the most of inclement weather and better hunting opportunities.

While mallard and grey duck populations were lower this hunting season, paradise shelduck numbers appeared good with many hunters collecting their limit, especially in the Eastern Bay and East Cape areas.

Interestingly, South Island mallard numbers appear to be rising, with one possible explanation surfacing last week.

A mallard banded at the Kaituna Wildlife Management reserve in February, 2004 has been shot near Culverden in the Canterbury foothills.

Mr McDougall said it was rare to find a banded bird so far from home.

“Around 85 percent of our banded birds are found within 50km of where they were released, which tells us that people can have an impact locally if they undertake habitat work,” he said.  “It’s still really interesting to find these birds ranging much further afield, however, and it helps paint a picture of what ducks are capable of.”

The 10-year-old bird was 630km from where it was banded, putting it in the top-10 of distances between Eastern’s banding and recovery sites.  The record is a duck recovered in the Waiwera River in South Otago in 2008, a year after it was banded in the Ohuia Lagoon near Wairoa, 1027km north.

Fish & Game have received details of nearly 100 banded birds retrieved already this year – hunters who send in details also go into a draw to win one of 10 free game bird licenses for the 2014 season.

Eastern Fish & Game staff also had a transmitter returned this week, one of 46 fitted to birds in the 2011 season as part of an earlier tracking study.  It was harvested near Otamarakau on the Bay of Plenty coast between Pukehina and Matata. 

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election