Someone (no idea who!) nominated my mate Sean and I for a "Love your place" award. We were nominated under the category of "Kahikatea" for our work with the NZ dotterel at Piha. According to Ecomatters, the organisers of the event, the Kahikate award is given to an outstanding individual volunteer taking action on a local environmental issue.
During the past weeks, as little blue penguin (Eudiptula minor) and grey-faced petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) eggs started to hatch, we decided to step up our trapping game. I got my hands on a Moultrie a-20i trail camera and installed it to monitor a couple of traps in the heart of the grey-faced petrel breeding grounds here in Piha.
As part of a paper on marine protected areas (MPAs) that I'm taking this semester, we went to Leigh and Long Bay to experience two of the most iconic no-take MPAs in the country. It was a great opportunity to experience first-hand the impacts of these two reserves but also to learn about the challenges and difficulties they are currently facing. Plus we were lucky enough to attend great talks by marine conservation legends Roger Grace and Tony Enderby among others.
I have been doing some work reviewing the literature on marine protecte areas (MPAs) and how effective they are in protecting mobile species. This recent paper from White et al. (2017) demonstrates how large MPAs are capable of providing a high degree of protection, although incomplete, to mobile pelagic species such as the grey reef shark.
Although it feels like as yesterday, it has been over a year since I started uploading observations into iNaturalistNZ. I thought it would be cool to export all my NZ Dotterel observations and visualize them in a compelling way. There are certainly heaps of ways to do this but for this particular case I decided to use a density map. I reckon it is a good way to help raise some awareness about these wee birds at Piha.
Shorebird breeding season in Aotearoa NZ is almost here and I thought it would be helpful to share some tips from previous years. Last season Sean and I had to deal with a nasty bunch of black-backed gulls here in Piha that predated the eggs of a pair of northern NZ dotterel / tūturiwhatu we were monitoring. This is what we did to prevent it from happening again.
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