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  • Newsletter #43 15 January 2019

    Posted on January 15, 2019 by in ARRG, Ashley, Awards and funding, banded dotterel, bird survey, Black-backed gull, Breeding, Department of Conservation, DOC, ECan, Fresh water management, kaki /black stilt, migration, Newsletters, Reports, Waimakariri, wrybill

    Tēnā koutou,

    Happy New Year-of-the-Wrybill and welcome back to those of you who were taking a break.

    Braided Rivers Seminar 2019

    As I mentioned in the last newsletter, thanks to funding from ECan, we are hosting full-day Braided Rivers Seminar at Lincoln University Wednesday 26 June. While we don’t yet have a final programme in place if you have a look at the 2016 workshop and  2017 seminar, they’ll give you an idea of the kinds of topics to expect. I recommend booking early as the last two events were booked out with standing room only (lunch, morning, and afternoon tea are included). A great deal more focus has been placed on braided rivers and their unique ecology since our previous seminar in 2017, so we anticipate strong interest again this year.

    Banded dotterels vs freedom campers

    If you are reading this before 6.00pm 16 January, I understand from Ailsa Howard that TVOne News will be showing the plight of the nesting banded dotterels versus the freedom campers on South Bay, Kaikoura. The situation has been covered in part by Radio NZ and Stuff, and our Facebook post with Ailsa’s amazing photos on the impact of freedom campers on the dotterels has (last time I looked) received almost 10,000 views. As I write this, Ailsa is being inundated with calls. Hopefully all the negative publicity will result in a positive outcome.

    ARRG wins trans-Tasman award

    Congratulations to the Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group (ARRG) for taking out the 2018 trans-Tasman Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS) annual award for Practical Wildlife Management. Out of eight finalists from throughout Australasia, the North Canterbury Group won the award for its practical work to protect and enhance the populations of endemic braided river birds in the Ashley-Rakahuri River. Read more about it and the latest news on what’s been happening on the river, here.

    If you do click on the above link, you’ll notice ARRG also has a new website. Past bird surveys and annual reports are all now readily accessible. The site, which is mobile friendly, visually celebrates the resident birds through some of the gorgeous photos taken by its members, particularly Steve Attwood and Grant Davey. Stories will be added to the ‘News’ section in the coming weeks, so go have a look.

    River bird surveys

    Thanks everyone who attended bird surveys last year, and particularly thanks to those who organised and led them. Please don’t forget to send me final reports so I can add them to our website. (I’m currently revamping the site to delete/update dated links and add research papers and information that many of you provided while I was away, so bear with me if you notice something missing. I’m getting there!) Also, please don’t forget to notify me if you have an event in 2019, so I can add it to our calendar. If you can remind a few days ahead, I’ll also Facebook it.

    2019: Year of the Wrybill

    Yes, we know that technically it’s too early to kick off the annual competition. But Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre has already set the ball rolling with a story that came about courtesy of Ann Buckmaster from Pūkorokoro and Brad Edwards and his crew from DOC, Geraldine, of a feisty wrybill with a tale that involved black-backed gulls, that you can read about here. Nick will be flying up to the Centre to make sure his best (feathered) mates arrive safely, and also help launch the official ‘Year of the Wrybill’ campaign on March 10.

    BRaid’s next meeting

    The next BRaid meeting will be at 3.00pm, 15 February at the DOC offices Nga Mai Road, Sockburn. You do not have to be a member to attend and we would love to see you there.

    Sonny Whitelaw

    Other news

    Check our Facebook page regularly, as events posted there often expire within days.

    Membership Renewal is due at the AGM September each year. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.

    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.

    Please feel free to redistribute this newsletter

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