With about 90 percent of New Zealand’s wetland lost over the past 150 years, Fish & Game NZ realises there’s a compelling need to assess the role that ponds play in successfully managing waterfowl.
Ponds have been established across the New Zealand landscape for various purposes including stock watering, irrigation, storm water capture, effluent ponding, waterfowl habitat and simple aesthetic values. Currently, there’s little scientific information on what, and how big a role these ponds play as habitat for waterfowl populations.
The aim of this ‘citizen science’ project is to determine what pond habitat features provide good breeding for waterfowl, and promote good pond management practices for breeding these birds. Fish & Game has launched an appeal for people who want to monitor waterfowl populations on ponds around their area. The aim is to establish a network of ponds to be closely monitored over the breeding season.
You don’t have to be a scientist! All volunteers will be given a set of simple instructions on how to go about monitoring. Fish & Game will supply a manual with simple instructions on how to run their surveys – so everyone round the country is tackling the project the same way, and volunteers gather the best data possible.
If you’re keen to help with collection of data and are prepared to monitor a pond, a fun and fulfilling project that will help New Zealand’s waterfowl and other native water dependant birds, this project is for you. Don’t forget – we are keen to hear from a wide range of people, including youngsters. Kids – depending on your age, you may need to line up support from mum and dad, a friend or relation.
Your help in this project will not only provide data to drive management decisions, but will give waterfowl enthusiasts, hunters and landowners a unique opportunity to get involved and make a real hands on contribution to our efforts to manage waterfowl – and keep their numbers up!