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  • BRaid Newsletter #10

    Posted on October 6, 2015 by in Ashburton, Black-billed gull, Canterbury Water Management Strategy, Newsletters, Zone Committee meetings

     BRaid Newsletter#10:  06 October 2015

    Hello everyone,

    The next few months will be busy, so keep an eye on our Calendar of Events so you don’t miss out. The Christchurch 360 Trail that opened last Saturday is currently underway, finishing up where it began at Weltands Grove in Bexley this Saturday. Colin Muerk is walking the entire trail, so if you have a chance, go join him for a leg of the journey (the map is on the link above).

    Then there’s the Waiau Braided Riverbird Survey October 20-23rd. And don’t forget, please spread the news about the FREE trapping workshops happening in Rangiora on Saturday 17th and Geraldine  Saturday 31st October.

    Straight after that, we’re into Conservation Week, and that means our FREE Endangered Birds on Braided Rivers’ full day course at Lincoln Events Centre (including lunch) on Tuesday 03 November. There are still a few places available for this and the trapping workshops, so please spread the news.

    In between, I will be presenting to the Ashburton Zone Committee 27 October at 4pm at the Rakaia Community Hall. This is a good reminder that anyone can come along to a Zone Committee meeting. They’re all listed in the calendar, along with maps showing you the catchment areas they cover. Dates and venues can change, so click on the links in the calendar to take you to ECan’s website for the latest updates.

    It’s worth keeping in mind that braided rivers are the only ecosystem in the ten broadly targeted areas to have its own set of targets in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. One of the CWMS targets under ‘Natural Character of Braided Rivers’ is to implement actions to correct the decline in useable braided river bird habitat. To this end, the Zone Committees are actively seeking ideas and possible solutions/options. For example, minimum flow rates to sustain braided river bird breeding sites in different catchments. If it’s possible that water could below minimum levels during drought periods (such as during an El Niño, which according to NIWA looks like it could be nasty this summer), one solution may be to deliberately form channels and islands, such as the Ashely Rakahuri Rivercare Group did a few weeks back.

    You can make submissions by contacting the Zone Committees & Facilitator Support Coordinator, Phillipa Beckman, and discussing the best time to be put on the agenda. Staying silent may result in decisions being made that are detrimental to braided river bird habitats and projects/research you are involved with. 


    Sonny Whitelaw,

    BRaid Manager (

    Creating nesting area for black-billed gulls

    On Sunday 03 October, a groups of hardy lupin-pullers braved  the wild nor’wester and the stubborn lupins to clear an area adjacent to 3000 black billed gulls on the Ashburton River.

    For teachers: Habitat Heroes – teach your kids to make a difference and WIN!

    The Department of Conservation is bringing you the Habitat Heroes competition – supported with free teaching resources to help you teach your students how to understand their local environment, using simple, scientific methods. Encourage your students to go out, explore a local place, and think about how they can make a difference.

    DOC track updates

    For Banks Peninsula Arthur’s Pass, Craigieburn, Foothill Forests, Lake Sumner and St James (collectively known as North Canterbury).

    Ashburton Borough School signs to protect black-billed gulls

    Earlier this year six posters were chosen following a competition at Ashburton Borough School. Copies of these will be seen at access points along the Ashburton River.

    Rocky road for Roundup 

    Resistant weeds and fears of health effects  – so where does that leave New Zealand in the battle against invasive weeds? From Chemical and Engineering News: “A controversial report released earlier this year by the World Health Organization raised questions and fears about whether governments have sufficiently evaluated this much-used chemical.”

    Five clever ideas to beat our pests

    To mark this year’s WWF’s Conservation Innovation Awards,  ecologist Dr James Russell proposes five innovatove ideas that may help win the battle for a predator-free New Zealand. The awards are now closed, but you can read about and comment on entries, including an app to make bird identification easier.

    Funding deadlines

    A few funding deadlines are coming up shortly, including:

    • Working Together (collaborative projects)
    • Community Environment Fund (okay, no deadline has yet been set, but it comes out 1-2 times each year and it’s alreadyOctober… You can email them and ask to be kept updated).

    BRaid Next Meeting

    Our next meeting will be 1.00pm 4th December at Nga Mahi Road, Sockburn. If you are not a member but would like to attend, please come along.

    BRaid Membership

    If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. Membership is a modest $20/annum.

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