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1,200kms walked in 2020 river bird survey


The 2020 Hawke’s Bay river bird survey has been completed, with over 1,200 kilometres walked across three catchments.

The surveys began in 1962. They cover 290 kilometres of the Tukituki, Ngaruroro, and Tūtaekurī gravel riverbeds and give a clear picture of the health of our river birds says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council terrestrial ecologist Keiko Hashiba.

“Initial results tell a similar story to what we found last year for birds numbers, but the recent Napier flood had a real impact on eggs and chicks. Any nests or chicks in the river channel when the rain came would have been washed away and drowned.”

“Two weeks before the flood, the survey found there were huge amounts of eggs and chicks and that this breeding season was a successful one, so we’re gutted the birds now have to start again. But these birds are resilient and determined. We’re already seeing lots of nests popping up along the rivers. Fingers crossed they get this lot of chicks through.”

“Predators, especially hedgehogs, feral cats, and ferrets are the biggest threat to these birds, but weeds and human activity are also a danger to them. If you’re heading out on our rivers, please keep your driving to a minimum and keep your dogs under control, this will go a long way to helping out our feathered friends.”

Banded dotterel, Oyster catcher, Black-billed gull, and Pied stilt are the main birds being found along the rivers, and all need protection.

Healthy, functioning biodiversity is one of the Regional Council’s priorities for Hawke’s Bay.

20 November 2020

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