I was about to start writing this when Ann-Kathryn Schlesselmann’s email popped up in my inbox, with the news that her PhD thesis is completed and now available. Ann-Kathrin has been researching the genetics of black-fronted terns/tarapirohe for the past few years. Her findings represents a significant breakthrough on several levels, and a clear signal that we must start managing South Island rivers as interlinked rather than isolated systems. Ann-Kathryn summarises as follows:
“In a nutshell, there are five key points that have come out of my research:
In addition to her primary research, Ann-Kathrin also identified native southern black-backed gulls/karoro (Larus dominicanus) as primary predators of black-fronted tern nests, and that nesting success was low, independent of island vegetation cover.
On a personal note, I would like to congratulate Ann-Kathrin on completing her PhD!
This newsletter also marks the end of the three-year Braided Rivers Parnership Project . The project, funded by DOC and Lotto, was succesful in developing several ongoing partnerships across Canterbury and wider afield, and in raising the profile of and advocating for the the protection of globally rare braided river ecosystems. Lotto has granted us a further $30,000 over 3 years to consolidate the project. ECan have also granted us $15,000, a portion of which will be used to organise another Braided Rivers Seminar, 26 June, 2019 (date yet to be confirmed by Lincoln University).
Courtesy of the inclement weather and subsequent high water levels, some recent bird surveys have had to be postponed and upcoming surveys may yet need to be postponed. As the decsion to do so is often made quite late (generally the night before), please check with the respective organisers before heading out. Survey dates and organiser contacts are on the calendar of events.
This will be our last newsletter of 2018, as I am off to Canada on Wednesday until January, so Merry Christmas everyone and I wish you a safe and happy festive season.
Noho ora mai,
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Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming. If they are time-sensitive, I’ll put them on Facebook.
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