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Category Archives: pest weeds

  • A quick guide to creating bird nesting islands

    Posted on April 7, 2018 by in black-fronted terns, Breeding, Clarence River, Ecology, Lower Waitaki, pest weeds, Reports, Research, Waitaki, weeds

    Braided rivers are home to a number of our special native birds, and they need some help! Creating islands in the river where birds can nest is one way we can help reverse the decline of birds like the wrybill, black billed gull and black fronted terns. Several project to test the optimal size and […]

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  • Genetic solutions to predators

    Posted on March 24, 2018 by in biology, gene editing, genetic, pest mammals, pest weeds, Research

    Every now and then I’m asked a not-so rhetorical question. It’s phrased in different ways, but it comes down to this: are we ever going to win the war against predators and pest species? Or are we wasting our time fighting a (ultimately) losing battle? The way I (and probably most of you) see it, […]

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    Ashley River Update – January, 2017

    Posted on February 3, 2017 by in Ashley, Black-billed gull, black-fronted terns, Breeding, pest weeds, trapping, traps, Trustpower

    Down on the river Birds Being the wet summer that it has, river flows have been good this season, but it is not the same with bird numbers and breeding success. As stated in the December Update, annual survey numbers were well down on previous years, and breeding success was similar. Our 8 wrybill pairs […]

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    Ashley River Update: October 2016

    Posted on October 10, 2016 by in Ashley, bird survey, Breeding, pest weeds, Reports, Research, trapping

    from Nick Ledgard Down on the river It is mid-October, which means the birds are back on the riverbed to start their breeding season. I walk a section of the riverbed every month, and 2 months ago there were only a handful of species present – most of which were introduced. Now all our major […]

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  • Ashburton black-billed gulls update

    Posted on January 26, 2016 by in Ashburton, bird survey, Black-billed gull, Breeding, pest weeds

    In early October 2015, a group of hardy volunteers braced themselves against a wild nor’wester to clear an area near the SH1 bridge at Ashburton, so that critically endangered black-billed gulls might have a fighting chance to raise a few chicks. Around 3,000 birds had settled nearby, but invasive weeds including  willows and lupins has […]

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  • Letter to NZ Geographic on the War of the Lupins

    Posted on January 2, 2016 by in pest weeds

    The Editor NZ Geographic Penny Wardle’s Russell lupin article, pp 32-41 January-February Issue 137 Dear Sir/Madam Congratulations to Penny Wardle on writing an excellent backgrounder  to the challenge of managing Russell lupins – the spread of which will become more controversial in the near future. My concern is how wider use as a forage […]

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    War of the Lupins

    Posted on December 27, 2015 by in Ecology, pest weeds

    This month’s New Zealand Geographic features an article on the clash between farming and conservation values when it comes to Russell lupins. The question remains: do the economic benefits of lupins for high country sheep outweigh the economic burden of controlling their rampant spread into fragile ecosystems, including braided rivers, and the concurrent loss of […]

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    Lupins – a looming disaster

    Posted on November 20, 2015 by in Ashley, Breeding, pest weeds

    The annual bird count last weekend also revealed that tree lupins are invading the Ashley-Rakahuri, with potentially disastrous consequences for braided river birds that breed only on open shingle beds.  

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    Lawsuits against Monsanto over cancer links to Roundup

    Posted on October 18, 2015 by in pest weeds

    Personal injury law firms around the United States are lining up plaintiffs for what they say could be “mass tort” actions against agrichemical giant Monsanto Co that claim the company’s Roundup herbicide has caused cancer in farm workers and others exposed to the chemical… The litigation follows the World Health Organization’s declaration in March that there […]

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    Rocky road for Roundup

    Posted on October 1, 2015 by in pest weeds

    Resistant weeds and fears of health effects  – so where does that leave New Zealand in the battle against invasive weeds?  Extract from Chemical and Engineering News: “A controversial report released earlier this year by the World Health Organization [Ed: the report is based in part on this paper in The Lancet] raised questions and […]

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