Nikki explained the original aims of this survey work were relatively simple (i.e. to give the ability to describe changes that have occurredin the lake’s bird fauna over the past 30 years;
to allow them to detect future changes and to re-examine the relationship between shorebird abundance and water levels). You might be interested to know the data from these surveys have recently been put to a variety of other
• To provide quantitative evidence in support of an application to have the Wairarapa Moana wetlands recognised as a “wetland of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention.
• To provide evidence to support the Wairarapa Moana Wetlands (together with
the Ruamahanga River) being listed as an “Important Bird Area” under Birdlife
International’s global IBA programme.
• To form part of our flood protection department’s programme for monitoring
the health of riverbed-dependent bird populations on rivers affected by flood
protection activities (large proportions of the regional populations of several riverbed-dependent bird species overwinter at Lake Wairarapa).
• To provide regional population estimates for a number of shorebird species used for the development of a regional threat classification system for birds of the Wellington Region.
• And lastly, data collected during these surveys are combined with data compiled from other key shorebird sites around NZ to provide estimates of the national population sizes of a number of NZ’s shorebird species. These national
population estimates are in turn put to a variety of uses, including a regular review of national threat classification rankings and ongoing monitoring of the population health of Arctic-breeding migrants using the East Asian/Australasian Flyway, a major avian migration route stretching from Alaska and Siberia in the north to NZ and Australia in the south.
Thanks go to Ian Gunn, Tony Silbery and Bob Green for assistance preparing for this survey, and to Bob Green, Grant McGhie, Graham Field and Tim Loe for permission to access various points of the shoreline. The next scheduled shorebird survey at Lake Wairarapa is for November 2014.
Greater Wellington Regional Council