It’s World Wetlands Day. Jack van Hal takes us behind the scenes of a research programme underway to learn more about the conservation needs of the Australasian bittern/matuku.Continue Reading...
Archives For wetlands
Today’s photo is a sunset shot from Ahuriri Estuary situated north of Napier in the sunny Hawke’s Bay.Continue Reading...
To celebrate World Wetlands Day DOC’s Jackie van Hal reflects on the status of New Zealand’s protected wetland areas.Continue Reading...
Wetlands are New Zealand’s shy places, so you need patience to photograph them well. DOC’s Des Williams explains…Continue Reading...
By Emily Funnell, Technical Advisor – Aquatic and Reporting Unit
Earlier this year we carried out a survey in some of the ponds and bog tarns in Southland’s Waituna catchment.
In April we had a peek in a number of ponds all around the catchment, many on public conservation land, but also a few on private land.
I would like to be able to say that we found these waterways teeming with fish, but unfortunately only a couple of sites fitted this description.
Giant kōkopu and other freshwater species were largely absent from most of the catchment ponds, except at the Munroe Dam and in the tarns on the southern side of the lagoon. These two sites had more giant kōkopu than we could shake a stick at, and with a good range of sizes.
Unfortunately, the ponds and tarns around Carran Creek, and those to the west of Waituna Creek, were all devoid of freshwater fish. This indicates that we may have been overestimating the use of these habitats by fish—with fewer populations than we thought.
So, what is the value of this information? We now know where the secure populations of giant kōkopu are in the catchment, so we can carry out more focussed investigations and management.
The beauty of these sites is that there are few threats to them in their isolated locations. With little habitat change, we anticipate that these populations will be around for a long time.
This week’s photo shows Waituna Lagoon—the location of a recent community open day marking the first year of DOC’s partnership with Fonterra.
The natural habitat at Awarua-Waituna, including the 1350 hectare Waituna Lagoon, is one of five key areas that DOC and Fonterra are working together to improve over the next ten years.
The open day was a chance for the local community to see the work being undertaken at Waituna by Fonterra and DOC, in conjunction with Ngai Tahu, the Southland District Council and Environment Southland.
“In the first year our focus has been on monitoring and science. We’ve got to get this right to ensure the whole project sets off in the right direction and can make a real difference,” said Fonterra Living Water Project Manager, Nicola Toki.
Today’s photo of the week is of volunteers planting harakeke/flax at Athenree Saltmarsh wetland near Tauranga.
The Athenree and nearby Waihi Beach community have taken on a challenge to plant over 9000 plants at the wetland over winter.
This work is part of a multi-year project to return farmland to wetland habitat for threatened native animals.
Photo by Peter Huggins, Partnerships Ranger, Tauranga.