Hawke’s Bay tūturiwhatu population doubles over decade & More News Here

A survey on coastal birds in Hawke’s Bay has discovered a doubling of the population of New Zealand dotterel, or tūturiwhatu, within the area over a decade.

New Zeakand dotterel parent and chick

Photo: Supplied / LDR

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council commissioned a workforce, led by unbiased ornithologist Nikki McArthur, to stroll the 320km of Hawke’s Bay shoreline and depend the variety of birds they might see.

The survey was accomplished final 12 months, however the knowledge has solely simply been publicly launched.

McArthur advised RNZ tūturiwhatu turned extinct over Hawke’s Bay from the late nineteenth century.

“It was absent from Hawke’s Bay for about 100 years, but following a whole lot of conservation management work that the Department of Conservation and a number of community coast care groups have done … this species has started moving back down the North Island coastline,” he mentioned.

“The first couple of birds turned up in 1990, on Māhia Peninsula, and then by 2011, a survey that was done during that year found 86 birds in Hawke’s Bay and up the East Cape. But when we did our survey in 2021, we found 222 of these tūturiwhatu along the Hawke’s Bay coastline, so numbers had more than doubled in the past 10 years, which is just a phenomenal recovery for what was a locally extinct species in Hawke’s Bay.”

McArthur was additionally enthusiastic about what his workforce discovered on Te Motu-o-Kura/Bare Island, simply off the coast of Waimarama Beach, south of Napier and Hastings.

“The final time anybody went on the market to do a fowl survey was the late Eighties – early Nineteen Nineties and a really small population of tītī or shooty shearwaters have been hanging on on the island at that stage.They estimated there have been round 5 breeding pairs, so a really very small population.

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“When we went out there we were very pessimistic about our chances of finding any tītī there now, after such a long time had elapsed and given how few birds there were there 40 years ago, so we were astounded and pretty overjoyed to find a pair on the island in a burrow, confirming that species is still present on the island.”

But there have been nonetheless issues over some species – particularly the reef heron or matuku moana.

McArthur mentioned they solely counted 16 over the 320km of Hawke’s Bay shoreline.

“That’s a lot fewer than we expected to see, and obviously a very very low population for that particular species.”

He mentioned that was doubtless right down to mammalian predators, and the birds are shy in nature so don’t like being disturbed.

“If people want to do something to help conserve birds, an easy thing to do is just to give them space when you’re down on the beach swimming, walking or fishing.”

Regional council senior marine and coast scientist Becky Shanahan mentioned the council was accountable for defending the setting the birds lived in, such because the Ahuriri Estuary in Napier.

“Our focus at the council is to really invest in programmes like the erosion control scheme and things like that, that start to limit the sediment coming in to the estuary so the fauna that lives in the sediment is actually quite a healthy, diverse group of animals.”

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