Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
Send news

News tags

mental health  physical activity  earthquake  vacancies  families  public health  children  funding  poverty  health determinants  social  Community development  planning  employment  healthy cities  volunteers  newsletter  youth  volunteering  nutrition  employment opportunity  housing  alcohol and drugs  maori  community engagement  rebuilding  wellbeing  disabilities  Lectures  counselling  Training  earthquake recovery  sustainability  event  community gardens  Community  seminar  Awards  stress  Community Groups  mens health  research  arts  smokefree  culture  men  exercise  migrants  community event  education  environment  resilience  human rights  health  medical  business  sport  conferences  survey  mental wellbeing  Courses  obesity  elderly  support group  environmental health  healthy food  health promotion  violence  pacific health  resources  rebuild  women  race relations  meeting  gardens  workshop  services  leadership  forum  water  disabled  repair  transport  prevention  pacific  dance  fundraising  asian health  sexual health  inequality  cancer  support  disasters  development  mindfulness  dementia  presentation  collaboration  health in all policies  data analysis  recovery  smoking  law  drugs and alcohol  technology  safety  cycling  Sleep  policy  parenting  media  hearing  walking  land  neighbours  social justice  qualification  resilient cities  information  community connection  consultation  oral health  bullying  depression  youth empowerment  young people  activities  non-profit  charity  harm  NURSES  addiction  disease  Communication  alcohol  symposium  submission  anxiety  accessibility  Relationships  eating  economics  Advocacy  eLearning  falls  parking  energy  efficiency  heating  insulation  advice  Eating Disorders  abuse  waste  Matariki  webinar  diabetes  workplace  Film  Climate Change  solutions  urban  management  economy  plan  restoration  Report  Vulnerability  welfare  parks  learning  awareness  emergencies  legislation  injury prevention  reading  Meeting Room  conservation  language  refugees  recreation  built environment  data  venue  urban design  Food  older people  finances  suicide  heritage  gender  recycling  breastfeeding  public  identity  Nursing  submissions  Rainbow  biodiversity  campaign  promotion  Gut Health  diversity  therapy  older adults  sexuality  computing  pollution  School Holidays  Arts Therapy  providers  gambling  Maori health  Cervical cancer  screening  trauma  autism  Governance  treaty of waitangi  care  mentoring  pets  relaxation  Professional Development  pornography  exhibition  history  discrimination  vaping  equity  lockdown  grief  rural  hygiene  participation  tourism  summer  intervention  warning  podcast  science  petition  swimming  roadworks  traffic  wildlife  beaches  pools  immunisation  vaccination  brain  preparation  open day  market  evaluation  noise  music  property  testing  crafts  CALD  cultural diversity  camping  creativity  child health  tamariki  climate action  refugee  migrant  community events  road safety  library  Hornby  skills  placemaking  regenerative communities  journey  reflection  regional council  councillors  water management  emergency management  retirement  stress management  Christmas  family  festival  alcohol harm  waterways  planting  health protection  legionnaire's disease  hepatitis  heatwaves  river beds  water safety  fishing  gardening  workshops  stormwater  biosecurity  volunteer  plant and animal pest management  politics  faith  crime  drugs  pregnancy  native birds  Waimakariri  water quality  schools  early childhood  health professionals  heart disease  Heart Foundation  creative space  music recording  kura  school  ethical issues  mokopuna  rangatahi  Linwood  running  donations  whanau  financial pressures  film festival  online  stigma  seeking help  health professional 

Rare braided river birds to be protected by gull control

Wednesday, August 28, 2019   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: environment, diversity, conservation

Environment Canterbury media release: 26th August 2019

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is protecting rare and threatened bird species living in the Hurunui and Waiau rivers by controlling southern black-backed gulls/karoro, which prey on their chicks and eggs.

The abundant black-backed gulls form large colonies and badly impact the following endangered bird species which breed on Canterbury’s braided rivers:

DOC is overseeing the control programme with the support of Environment Canterbury - as part of the Hurunui Waiau Water Zone Committee’s flagship project to restore riverbed habitat and support threatened bird species.

Gull control in the Waiau River

DOC Science Advisor Kerry Weston says the work is part of a five-year control programme and follows a successful trial in the Hurunui River last year.

“This will be the first time we’ve controlled black-backed gulls in the Waiau River where we know they have established several large breeding colonies.”

DOC is hoping to reduce the population of black-backed gulls in the Waiau and Hurunui rivers by more than 80 percent over the next five years.

Measuring success of the programme

DOC will compare the breeding success of the threatened bird species in areas where gulls are controlled with areas where they are not - to measure the success of the control operations.

“Last year the control operation was really successful, we managed to reduce 90 percent of gulls in some locations.

“Unfortunately, due to severe flooding many of the birds we were trying to protect ended up abandoning their nests but we expect more of them to nest successfully in the future.”

Zone Committee Deputy Chair Ken Hughey says Canterbury’s braided rivers, including the Hurunui and Waiau, are unique.

“They support many important fish, animals and plants. Many of the special bird species that depend on these rivers are declining,” he said. “That is why we are supporting these important control operations”.

What work is being done

Ecological consultancy Wildlife Management International will carry out the control work by targeting black-backed gull colonies over a 30km section of the riverbed between the upper and lower Hurunui gorges for several weeks.

The toxin alpha-chloralose is an anaesthetic compound registered for black-backed gull control. It will be mixed with margarine on bread bait and hand laid within gull colonies. Uneaten baits and gull carcasses will be removed for disposal within 24 hours.

They will also be working over a 70km section of the Waiau riverbed. Control will begin in the next few weeks and may continue until the end of December.

What to look out for

Landowners living next to the areas where gulls will be controlled have been informed and will be contacted again before operations start.

Warning signs will be in place at entry points to the operational areas.

People are advised to avoid the control areas while signs remain in place and not to take their pets into these areas. Alpha-chloralose bread baits and gull carcasses are toxic to domestic animals, as well as people if eaten.

Find out more about the black-backed gull control programme and why it is necessary.