The breeding season 2018-2019 is over and it looks like it hasn't been bad for the west coast. As far as I know a total of 10 chicks have successfully fledged but I expect the final count to be announced at the Auckland dotterel forum next April.
One of my favorite papers last year was "Aquatic Ecological Assessment" taught by Dr. Kevin Simon. As part of this course I did an analysis using data collected by the Auckland Council from a set of freshwater streams in the Auckland region. The report makes use of several macroinvertebrate biotic indices: macroinvertebrate community index (MCI), semi-quantitative macroinvertebrate community index (SQMCI), taxa richness (TR) and the percentage of Ephemeroptera (mayfly), Plecoptera (stonefly) and Trichoptera (caddisfly) (%EPT). I used R to perform all the calculations and to generate all the graphs and plots included in the analysis.
Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) is a technique often used to find similarities and similarities between communities composition. As a part of a broader analysis I wrote to assess the ecological integrity of a set of freshwater streams in the Auckland region, I used NMDS (using R) to compare macroinvertebrate communities composition among the studied streams.
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.
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