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  • BRaid Newsletter#12: 17 November 2015

    Posted on November 17, 2015 by in Newsletters

    BRaid Newsletter#12: 17 November 2015

    Hello everyone,

    Quite a bit has been happening this past month, with courses, riverbird surveys, and Conservation Week events. I know you’re probably all too busy to send in updates on your activities, but do remember to take photos and keep track of how many volunteer hours you work.

    When it comes to photos, take people as well as bird pictures, even if it’s only with your phone camera, as the quality of images on the latest models is impressive. Whether its tramping along a river counting birds, trapping, weeding, or talking to groups, pictures attract more attention than words, especially in press releases, so keep them coming.  And recording your volunteer hours is enormously helpful when applying for funds and writing those pesky final reports, as it is a key way to demonstrate the commitment people are willing to make in order to protect and restore braided river bird habitats.

    If you have any events coming up, please let me know so I can add them to our Facebook page and events calendar (this also helps reduce the incidence of conflicting events).


    Sonny Whitelaw,

    BRaid Manager (

    Ashley Rakahuri Bird Surveythank you to the more than 20 people who came along to the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group’s annual bird survey last  Saturday. It was a great morning along the river, with fine weather and good company (people as well as birds!).  Also good to see that most people walking dogs had them on leads, and an opportunity to let those with dogs running free know that birds are nesting this time of year. Changing the habits of just one or two people has the potential to make a big difference.

    Steve Attwood, who has contributed most of the photos to our website, also had an amazing encounter with a nesting banded dotterel. Check out Steve’s Facebook page here (scroll down to November 14).

    The Ashley Rakahuri 2014/2015 management and monitoring report is available online, along with previous years’ reports here.

    Nesting birds on the Ashley, Waipara, and Waimakariri Rivers – Comprehensive updates as of October 31.

    Giant wrybill makes front page news – the wrybill may not have been voted ‘Bird of the Year’, but it was great to see Waimakariri’s Mayor David Ayes posing on the front page of the Northern Outlook with the Ashley Rakahuri River Care group’s giant wrybill, in an effort to garner votes!

    Conservation Week Events – The trapping workshop in Geraldine on Saturday 31 October was followed by a great family day out at Mt Thomas on Sunday 01 November. The stuffed predators BRaid had mounted (thanks to funding from DOC) are proving to be incredibly useful, with some wide-eyed amazement, especially from the many kids who turned up.

    On Tuesday 03 November John Dowding kept more than 40 people who attended BRaid’s annual course, Endangered Birds on Braided Rivers, enthralled. Thanks to ECan for helping to sponsor the event.

    Yellow-eyed penguin nest numbers hit rock bottom – While yellow-eyed penguins are not braided river birds, the fact is that shorebirs and seabird numbers continue to decline in spite of conservation efforts, (something highlighted by John Dowding at the Endangered Birds on Baided Rivers course). Some of the factors affecting penguin number are outlined in the article, which segues with the recent reports of NZ being the global hotspot for the decline in seabirds.

    Call for banning commercial whitebaiting – Stella McQueen talks to RadioNZ about the need to band commercial whitebaiting.

    Endangered Species Foundation – New organisation launched on 28 October to identify and reverse some of New Zealand’s most critically endangered (but often less-known) species.

    Cycling to save our freshwater species – Katie  is planning on cycling top to bottom of New Zealand – that’s 3,000km in 30 days with a target of $30,000. See her route and find out more about her challenge.



    How successful has DOC’s massive 1080 programme ‘Battle for Our Birds’ been? – Radio New Zealand interview with DOC scientist, Graeme Elliot.

    Rat plague crisis about to hit, warns Forest & Bird – Predictions of a pest plague next winter and spring are ripe, and funding for pest control during  a second mast year is “…not an option is available to DOC this year as [staffing appointments delayed to pay for the 2014/15 mast year] s are now filled, so we urgently need the Government to allocate emergency funding for pest control.”

    Natural parasite makes rats throw caution to the wind – Show a rat a weird, new thing like a pest trap and they shun it – but not if they have a certain parasite in their bloodstream. “The theory is if the rats had this infection, then they’d be a lot easy to trap and a lot easier to keep down in the long term, as an alternative to aerial poisoning.”

    Rakahuri Manu, Birds of the Ashley River photographic exhibition

    A photographic exhibition by Steve Attwood, who has generously contributed dozens of photos to this website and our various campaigns and presentations,  is being held at the Chamber Gallery Rangiora Library. The exhibition ends 26 November.

    BRaid’s next meeting: Friday 04 December at Ngai Mahi Road


    The Tindall Foundation Annual Report is now out. This past 12 month they gave over $1.57 to Caring for our Environment.

    A few funding deadlines are coming up shortly, including:

    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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