Native vs Native, Protection or lack of protection of our rare natives

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.
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Native vs Native, Protection or lack of protection of our rare natives

Postby fras444 » Thu May 21, 2020 8:38 pm

Our rare "Natives..." Caught in the no mans land.... Are some worth more protection than others....

Where do our Rare Native species fall into the protection situation regarding government/DOC and local funding to preserve the species as a breeding species in New Zealand.

Once again our unique birdlife. We are spoiled or some say we are clutching on to the remains of something far greater. We have our special endemics and our misunderstood "sub" endemics... But we forget sometimes about our "native" birds that sort of get lost in the background and some of which are very rare.

Lets have a look and discussion on our...

Very rare but very common Natives and a comparison of some that are getting the recognition and protection needed and others that are slipping through the cracks....
What are your guys thoughts and expert opinions???!!

One bird that is very unique to New Zealand as being the only native big white bird and a bird that is some what culturally significant to Maori both rare and abundant...

The Great White Heron.

Reading the write up on the DOC website suggests that, as a native species, is almost on the same level as some of our endemics and possibly ahead of some of our endemic subspecies with public view and support. Everyone knows the White heron... For some its a highlight... Maybe more so than seeing our very own Kiwi... Maybe because seeing a kiwi seems far to much of a novelty being rare and nocturnal... The White heron on the other hand... Is that more "accessible" true once in a life time experience to be treasured like Maori culture suggests in many ways with seeing a White heron or Kotuku.. A this rare in NZ but abundant world wide species has a almost a unique feel and status that the kiwis have and in a way, that its habitat is tightly regulated and controlled through trappings etc...

Nankeen Night Heron

Reading about the Nankeen night heron on nzbirdsonline and the significance to the local iwi... Kaitiaki is quite an honour. One could suggest that this "recent" coloniser/native species could probably be just as important if not more than the beloved Kotuku Great White Heron...
Nothing is mentioned on the DOC website and very few of us knows nothing real much about the presence this bird has in NZ, the strangle hold that it has here as a breeding species being far more rare than the White Heron.. Should this rare but common elsewhere native have the same regard as the White Heron??? Should DOC and the local iwi to which this bird has a meaning too... Should we be seeing the same sort of recognition some sort of tours, DOC and or locally funded in conjunction with the local iwi trapping and protection during the breeding season to limit disturbance the the colony or have the area tightly restricted in much the same way as the White heron breeding ground. Or is it just about sex appeal!!! The big showy dramatic white bird just sells itself more than a secretive drab coloured bird lurking in the shadows or darkness

The Fairy tern

On the brink, DOC have mentioned in various interviews on media in the past, regarding why there was little intensive involvement.. "The Fairy tern is just a slight variation of a much bigger population that is deemed not at risk..." Money is better spent on something rare like the Endemic Kiwi... and the tightly controlling the area that the "Native" White heron lives... But some say that... "Isn't the fairy tern a unique a subspecies... Some would say a species in its own right" More valuable on a genetically unique sense than the rare but common "native White heron... What does a subspecies mean exactly in the great scheme of things.

White/black/brown Noodies and all other "natives" on the Kermadecs...

Few would know that the White noody along with a handful of other bird species on the Kermadecs were right on the brink of extinction as a native breeding species in New Zealand. Like seriously... The white Noodie was like the rarest breeding native New Zealand bird with maybe 5 or so pairs... DOC spent x amount in rat eradication on the Island... Yes it was part of a bigger project, a project of which is still very much current (weed control) in restoring this incredible/New Zealand's only "tropical" habitat, back to what it used to be before humans arrived... Yes a a handful of species where directly linked to NZ (Kakariki and Tui...) But almost most of the bird species found on the Kermadecs are common "Native" species found throughout the Pacific. On the whole... Some could say/argue another example of DOC spending x amount in directly or indirectly looking after native species over Endemic subspecies....

Grey Duck


This is quite a controversial one... This NATIVE DUCK could very well be... if not already be... New Zealand's newest extinct species and with the lack of concentrated effort in saving the Grey duck as a pure bred "native/endemic" species.... Why is it behind the White Heron.... Isn't our Grey duck potentially a subspecies??? and many experts have described it as genetically different to ones found Australia and the Pacific... ...
Why are we letting this "native/potentially endemic subspecies..." slip silently into extinction ahead of the White heron or even the Barn Owl... Should we be investing not in Barn Owl boxes but Grey Duck boxes
Breeding ducks must have to be on the same scale of easy as the Orange-fronted Parakeet isn't it..??? Why is there no recognition or any immediate action from DOC???
The most important question.....
If the Grey Duck becomes functionally extinct... Is it as simple as bringing some Black ducks from Australia and start again, if some suggest that the Grey duck and pacific black duck are same same but... different. Is the Norfolk Morepork unique or essentially extinct regardless of NZ Moreporks being introduced... Does that make those birds breeding on Norfolk essentially an "introduced species...??"
Should we be asking the powers to be...
If the Grey duck is potentially an unique subspecies... The controversial ASAP at removal of the highly destructive and introduced Millard Ducks from NZ before we see the extinction of the Grey duck??? Millard after all is impacting our endemic ducks... Could the Brown teal be the next to be hybridised out of existence...
Remember people want Barn Owls that are native to be controlled so that they don't potentially wipe out the native/endemic??? Fairy terns
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Re: Native vs Native, Protection or lack of protection of our rare natives

Postby Clinton9 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:02 am

Only option is to eradicate all Mallard ducks and hybrid ducks out of New Zealand, and replace with Grey ducks, before too late when pure Grey ducks become extinct. Mallard ducks are BIG NO NO to New Zealand.
Finn Davey
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Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:38 am

Re: Native vs Native, Protection or lack of protection of our rare natives

Postby Finn Davey » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:06 pm

Why do we not have a breeding programme for Grey Duck?
Have have one for Whio, that should prove that breed and release programmes work for ducks.

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