Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

‘Biggest ever’ duck banding tally bodes well for game season

Duck hunters will have no shortage of birds to target when the new game bird season kicks off in May (Saturday May 5) – going by the latest Fish & Game banding programme.

Eastern Fish & Game Officers band greys and mallards every summer with the information used to help plan hunting limits and work out population trends.

Senior Fish & Game Officer Matthew McDougall says the operation to trap and band ducks is carried out at sites in the Bay of Plenty, along the East Coast and in the Reporoa area near Taupo.

“We caught more ducks than we ever have – 200 more than we previously have in any one year,” he says, with more than 1800 birds trapped and banded so far and trapping not yet finished.

Mr McDougall says the banding operations are now in their twenty second year and this figure is the biggest tally to date.

“And although total catch doesn’t necessarily reflect population size, ‘catch per unit effort,’ also called catch rate, does.

“The large catch this year coincides with similar levels of effort to previous years.”

While numbers are still being crunched, he says the early indications are of a reasonable number of juveniles – important because the young birds make up a large part of a hunter’s bag.

The juveniles are typically harvested at twice the rate of fully grown adults on Opening Weekend.

Of the individual banding sites, the Bay of Plenty had produced the largest numbers of birds, Mr McDougall says. “But there were reasonable numbers of ducks in Gisborne and on the East Coast,” he added.

The birds were generally in “good condition.”

Mr McDougall says that the results fit with indications over the past two years of game bird populations “starting to turn around.”

Last year was a really good season for some hunters and Fish & Game staff expected opportunities like that again this year.

“We are just holding our breath somewhat over the possible impact of botulism on the populations after outbreaks in the warm humid weather,” he says.

Staff have also surveyed other species and found that paradise shelduck populations appear to be stable while black swan numbers continue to remain high in the Bay of Plenty.

The banding programme will be followed up by aerial counts carried out before the game bird season opens on Saturday May 5.

Fish & Game Eastern Region is again considering a six week mallard season with an eight bird limit, Mr McDougall says.

He is urging hunters to remember to send in their duck band information.

“We hope to again offer some desirable prizes as a nice incentive to folk to provide this crucial data. More on this closer to the season.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Zappa

The first of the NZSO’s Shed Series concerts at the more informal and intimate space of Wellington's Shed 6 last Friday night featured music composed by, or with a connection to Frank Zappa. Zappa, a psychedelic rock legend, activist and popular culture figure and all round colourful character, was an excellent choice for the concert’s theme of innovation. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland