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

 


‘Encouraging’ Blue Duck numbers in inland Hawke’s Bay

‘Encouraging’ Blue Duck numbers in inland Hawke’s Bay

Endangered whio, or Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), continue to thrive in the mountainous rivers and streams of inland Hawke’s Bay, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Three years after an initial survey prompted DOC’s Whio Recovery Group (WRG) to classify the catchment areas of the Waiau and Te Hoe rivers as a whio ‘Recovery Site’ a second survey has validated the decision.

The census, conducted in January this year, found 18 breeding pairs along 33km of waterway bordering the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust’s 6,120 hectare Maungataniwha Native Forest, compared to 19 pairs along 41km in 2011.

This equates to a density of 0.54 pairs per kilometre of river, up slightly from 0.46 pairs per kilometre three years ago although the increase is not believed to be statistically significant.

“We surveyed some rivers this year that we didn’t look at in 2011, and vice versa,” said the study’s co-ordinator, DOC biodiversity ranger Helen Jonas. “Some rivers we did more of this year, and some less of. So we can’t make an apples for apples comparison.

“But the advantage of this is that we can say for sure that the encouraging outlook we discovered for whio in this part of New Zealand in 2011 remains the same today.”

This year’s survey found 32 juveniles along the same stretches of water, up slightly from 29 in 2011. This equates to a density of 0.96 juveniles per kilometre of river, up slightly from 0.7.

In 2011 Jonas and her team used a dog to help sniff out the ducks. This year they did not. It is possible that a dog would have turned up more ducks than the human searchers did.

“When it comes to finding whio nothing can beat a pooch,” Jonas said.

The FLR Trust’s work with whio at Maungataniwha is funded by Genesis Energy as part of the Whio Forever project – a five year $2.5 million dollar programme, managed by DOC, which will double the number of secure breeding sites around the country.

The project classifies North Island sites it monitors as either Security Sites or Recovery Sites. The priority Security Sites are whio breeding areas and there are four across the North Island. Recovery Sites receive less funding but often have some form of stoat control, frequently funded and operated by private land owners.

At Maungataniwha whio are benefitting from the extensive predator trapping undertaken by the FLR Trust in support of its Maungataniwha Kiwi Project, one of the most prolific and successful kiwi conservation initiatives in the country.

At 0.54 pairs per kilometre the Maungataniwha whio population density is more than double the average density of other Recovery Sites.

Similar whio densities at the FLR Trust’s nearby Pohokura property, and duplicated in informal counts elsewhere at Maungataniwha, indicate that relatively substantial populations are likely to exist across the southern Whirinaki and Te Urewera ranges according to Pete Shaw, FLR trustee and Maungataniwha Native Forest estate manager.

“We’re hoping these results indicate at least a partial plateau in the decline of whio across inland Hawke’s Bay,” Shaw said.

“To get similar numbers from two surveys, conducted three years apart, is immensely encouraging.”

The survey consisted of walking in or alongside rivers and streams, crisscrossing them and, in some cases rafting or tubing them, to look and listen for sign such as faeces and calls. Features such as likely roost areas with protective overhead cover were examined particularly closely.

The FLR Trust’s work with whio at Maungataniwha complements its whio secure breeding project on its

nearby property at Pohokura. In addition to these initiatives and the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project it runs a series of native flora and fauna regeneration projects. These include a drive to increase the wild-grown
opulation of Kakabeak (Clianthus maximus), an extremely rare type of shrub, and the re-establishment of native plants and forest on 4,000 hectares currently, or until recently, under pine.

About the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust The Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust was established in 2006 to provide direction and funding for the restoration of threatened species of fauna and flora, and to restore the ngahere mauri (forest lifeforce) in native forests within the Central North Island.

It runs eight main regeneration and restoration projects, involving native New Zealand flora and fauna, on three properties in the central North Island. It also owns a property in the South Island’s Fiordland National Park.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

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