Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Bush Calls for Bird-Counting Students

Media Release 16 December 2014

Bush Calls for Bird-Counting Students

Two NorthTec science students will be spending January in the bush, working on a project which could have national significance.

Hayley Sharp and Laurence Sullivan are both working towards a Bachelor of Applied Science. Having completed their first year, both are delighted to have secured a month’s work this summer, monitoring birds around Mount Manaia for the Landcare Trust.

The Trust works with community groups to provide restoration advice and logistical support, and to help them secure funding to manage blocks of land.

When Landcare Trust approached NorthTec seeking students to carry out the paid work, conservation and environmental tutor Dai Morgan was happy to put Hayley and Laurence’s names forward. Both had expressed a strong interest in doing volunteer work during their summer break, and have excelled in their course work over 2014.

The pair will work for four weeks in the Whangarei Heads bush, comparing the traditional method of counting birds in an area with a new technique which could potentially be used by community groups all over New Zealand.

Bird monitoring is a time-consuming process and is sometimes difficult for community groups to carry out, says Dai. The new bird counting protocol could be more popular with community groups as it would easier to employ; however, the data must to be comparable to the traditional counting method.

Since the 1970s, the standard method of counting the bird population in a given area has been the “five-minute bird count” – literally counting the number of birds seen or heard in the area, to give an index of abundance.



Hayley and Laurence will be trialling the use of acoustic monitors, which record different bird sounds and are then analysed to define the size and type of bird population. Their project involves a comparison of the traditional versus the new method.

Dai said: “If we show that acoustic monitoring is comparable to the five-minute bird count, it is a nationally important piece of work. It will be a great tool for community groups because it will be easy to set up and run. I think it’s great that they are staying in Northland to do this work and helping out with conservation locally.”

Hayley and Laurence, who are both aiming for a career in conservation, have been preparing by spending time out and about with local ornithologists, learning to identify the calls of different birds.

Laurence, who hopes to work for the Department of Conservation, said: “The best thing about it will be being out in the bush, helping in the role of conservation.”

Hayley said: “It will be a cool learning experience and a chance to do something different. I’m unsure exactly what I want to do yet – there are so many exciting opportunities out there. Our course is great, because we do so much hands-on stuff and you get to put your work into practice.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Making History

Jock Phillips is a pioneering public historian who has sought new ways to communicate history to a wide audience. His autobiographical memoir is a fascinating account of how perceptions of history have changed through his career. More>>

New Budget Arts Funding: Fairer Wage For Grant Artists, Creatives In Schools

The vital contribution and huge value the creative sector brings to New Zealand is recognised in this year’s Budget with $11.157 million over four years for two new initiatives, the Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern said today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Region MMR Change: Children To Be Vaccinated For Measles At 12 Months

The first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland because of the region’s measles outbreak. More>>

ALSO:

Tapu Te Ranga: Fire Destroys Main Building At Island Bay Marae

There was a large fire at the Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay early Sunday morning. Firefighters saved the meeting house, but the main building collapsed in the blaze and other surrounding buildings were compromised. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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