original records from acclimatisation societies

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Anna Santure
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:23 pm

original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby Anna Santure » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:57 am

Kia ora - posting the below on behalf of my student Bailee, any help very much appreciated. With many thanks! Anna Santure, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Hi,
My name is Bailee Baxter and I am a third year student assisting on a project at the University of Auckland regarding common mynas (Acridotheres tristis) and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and their invasion into New Zealand. From research articles we have found that they invaded New Zealand in roughly the 1870’s. However, we are trying to gather more information on their introduction to New Zealand. We were wondering if anyone in the BirdingNZ community knew how to access the acclimatisation society minutes with the original data for myna and starling introductions.
Many thanks,
Bailee
Ian Southey
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby Ian Southey » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:21 pm

I suggest you spend some time searching through old newspapers in papers past https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/. I don't what's in those records you're chasing but the old newspapers contain a lot more detail than any/all of the standard published records I have seen and you may get some indication of the early spread as well. These birds were welcomed in the day as the best pesticides available before chemicals.

Ian
andrewcrossland
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby andrewcrossland » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:12 pm

There are several books and reports done over the last 100 years that summarise this info - minutes of Acclimitisation Societies (available in Uni libraries and town libraries), the book (incl online version available via NZbirdsonline) by George Watola; the book published some years ago called "They dined on eland", the booklet "Our Feathered Immigrants" by James Drummond in the early 1900s; and many articles and reports searchable via papers past).

I would have thought that pretty much everything is known and has been written on this topic over the years, so surprising that Uni of Akl are re-visiting the topic?
Ian Southey
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby Ian Southey » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:02 pm

No Andrew

My limited experience of looking through papers past is that there is much more information out there to gather up than has ever appeared in any of the standard references. Let's hope they are thorough this time round. Also the initial establishment and the disappearance of mynas in the south is pretty interesting and I'd be interested to see some analysis of that.

Ian
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1273
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:29 pm

Yep, so what I meant was - aside from the "standard references" - there's a lot of information published on mynas and starlings in NZ. Its just published in long-forgotten places like weekly newspaper columns from times past by people like James Drummond (In Touch with Nature), Stidolph (Nature Notes), Falla, etc. Also search on the "small bird menace" topic.
As for Accl Society AGM notes, if you can't find them at the Uni archives, try the archives in Wellington or just approach each Fish and Game Council directly and ask to visit their offices and read through their annual reports.
Good luck
Anna Santure
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:23 pm

Re: original records from acclimatisation societies

Postby Anna Santure » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:40 pm

Kia ora Ian and Andrew - thank you so much for your help and my apologies to take a few days to reply! Bailee and I very much appreciate the suggestions! Andrew - I hadn't come across the 'small bird menace" before so that's a great route to explore. Ian, indeed the establishment of and 'pulses' in the myna range are super fascinating - we are working on a broader project to try and understand the role of genetics versus plasticity in enabling adaptation. Nga mihi nui - with many thanks, Anna

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