Year six of data collecting is about to start with the return of the Great Kererū Count 2019

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The Great Kererū Count 2019 is coming!

The Great Kererū Count is NZ’s biggest citizen science project. This project depends on as many people as possible getting out and about gathering data on kererū. Each year the number of people taking part grows, and last year kererū were voted Bird of the Year, proving just how much New Zealanders love kererū. https://www.greatkererucount.nz

Everyone in New Zealand can get involved with the Great Kererū Count. Whether you see any kererū or not, sharing observations will help build up a clearer picture of where kererū live, how many kererū there are or aren’t, what they are feeding on, and most importantly how best to protect them. So far New Zealand citizen scientists have contributed to a total of 34,961 observations. In another few years, Aotearoa will have a statistically robust open-source data set on kererū. This data will be used by scientists at Victoria University of Wellington and elsewhere to improve conservation outcomes for kererū.

Join the Global Bird Rescue citizen science project

By | GBR | No Comments

Global Bird Rescue 2019 - Starting 30/09/19

The Global Bird Collision Mapper is an international bird collision database designed to help better understand where and to what degree collisions are occurring.

Your participation in Global Bird Rescue will not only help demonstrate the magnitude of the problem, it will help inspire further development of effective preventative measures and standards designed to protect bird species.

The Global Bird Collision Mapper (GBCM) is just that! a global citizen science project which starts the day after the Great Kererū Count finishes.  Global Bird Rescue (GBR) is an annual event hosted by FLAP Canada |>Birdsafe that uses the Global Bird Collision Mapper (GBCM) to document bird-building collisions across the globe.

Each year during the first week in October, teams, and individuals take to the streets and to social media to raise awareness about this critical issue. This years’ event is being held from September 30 through October 6, 2019. Global Bird Rescue will bring the issue of bird building collisions into the hands of the public. This week-long event will bring communities together to search for fallen birds in their neighbourhood.

This worldwide project encourages people to search for birds, in the hope to increase the chances of finding live birds sooner, thus increasing their chances for a successful rehabilitation/release.

Using the Global Bird Collision Mapper, participants will be able to report the location, status and species of the birds they recover, including the ability to upload a photo of each bird they report. This citizen science tool will show every collision reported on its interactive GIS map, providing invaluable data for a greater understanding of the bird-building collision issue. Even after the project finishes you can continue to use the Global Bird Collision Mapper for any bird-building collisions you encounter throughout the year.

This will be the first time New Zealand has played a part in this global project which will give an insight into the harm our endemic and native birds face in urban areas. PLEASE join the Global Bird Collision Mapper and give our beautiful birds a voice!

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari, he toa takitini

"Success is not the work of one, but the work of many"

Kiwi’s made kererū count this week in NZ’s biggest citizen science project

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The Great Kererū Count 2018 has finished

This week hundreds of New Zealand citizen scientists made just over 8,800 observations of kererū, from as far north as Mangonui and south as Pikaroro Bay, Stewart Island, helping build a comprehensive longitudinal study of how our native pigeon is doing.

The nationwide count ended last night (Sunday 30 Sept) but people are still being urged to submit any sightings of kererū that occurred during the 10-day count period.

As the 2018 count closed over 18,723 kererū had been counted. Last year, a total of 15,459 kererū counted.

Tony Stoddard, Kererū Discovery Trust thanks all who took part. “We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the count and shared their kererū observations.

It’s not too late to report any sightings made between 21-30 September and quick observations on the Great Kererū Count website www.greatkererucount.nz will remain open for the next two days.

This is New Zealand’s biggest citizen science project and our only comprehensive record of how these amazing birds are doing. The stories, photos and observations people have sent in over the last 10 days has been awe-inspiring and makes me proud to be a kiwi.

It shows the deep care and respects there is for this bird, and just how much New Zealander’s love native birds.”

Dr Stephen Hartley, Director of the Centre of Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington, says: “Even though the Great Kererū Count doesn’t tell us exactly how many kererū there are in the country, over time it can tell us if numbers are increasing or decreasing in certain areas relative to others. For instance, this year 48% of urban participants reported that kererū numbers appear to be increasing in their locality, and 39% of participants in rural areas also reported an increase. Less than 8% of people reported a decrease in either setting, which is highly encouraging.

A common question is how we deal with the fact that there are more people in some areas compared to others. While Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin accounted for the greatest number of records, the number of kererū recorded per head of population points to the West Coast of the South Island as the hotspot for kererū. A more detailed breakdown of the final figures will be available in the coming weeks.

If you didn’t see kererū in your area at this time of year, but they come visiting at other times, observations can be recorded year-round via i-Naturalist, and these will also help build a national picture of seasonal movements.”

Kererū are protected birds and endemic to New Zealand. Kererū numbers today are much lower than the flocks reported from 50-100 years ago. Kererū are known as the gardeners-of-the-skies and play a crucial role in dispersing seeds of large native trees like tawa, taraire and matai.  They are the only bird left in New Zealand that can distribute these large seeds and help keep native forests growing.  Information and data collected from this nation-wide citizen science project will be used to better protect kererū and to help save our native forests.

The main threat to kererū is predation by introduced mammalian predators, particularly feral cats, possums, stoats and rats. These threats are even more serious for kererū during nesting season, as unlike many of our other native birds, kererū only lay one egg per nest. Other threats include collisions with man-made objects such as fast-moving vehicles, overhead power and telephone wires, fences and windows, and most alarmingly, illegal hunting of kererū.

Each year the number of people participating in the Great Kererū Count has been steadily increasing. This long-term dataset will have significant value in helping understand the importance of conservation activities like restoration, trapping, and aerial 1080 operations in helping kererū numbers increase.

The Great Kererū Count is a collaborative project lead by Kererū Discovery in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington, WWF-New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

ENDS

Additional information

  • Kererū are also known as kūkū / kūkupa/ kokopa / New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) and the parea / Chatham Islands pigeon (Hemiphaga chathamensis).
  • The Great Kererū Count is in its fifth year.
  • In 2018: 18,981 kererū were counted by more than 8,879 observations.
  • In 2017: 15,459 kererū were counted by more than 6,946 observations.
  • The Great Kererū Count observations can be made using the greatkererucount.nz Quick Observation page (no log-in required), or using the iNaturalist app for Android and iPhones. The app is available to download free from www.greatkererucount.nz.

 

Kererū Photos

High-resolution photos are available to download and use for media from:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60164380@N03/albums/72157647281732710

all images © Tony Stoddard from Kererū Discovery Trust

Kererū video footage and Great Kererū Count poster, banner, flyer

These are available for download from Google Drive
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qvi4kIkxMxD-x2IlkDXHhE9iYuO_rWfI?usp=sharing

all images and video © Tony Stoddard from Kererū Discovery Trust

Social Media
Kererū Discovery Facebook: https://facebook.com/kererudiscovery
Kererū Discovery Twitter: https://twitter.com/KereruDiscovery


#GKC2018
#GreatKereruCount
#kererudiscovery
@kererudiscovery

 

For more information, please contact:

Dr Stephen Hartley – Director of the Centre of Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington
E: stephen.hartley@vuw.ac.nz

Tony Stoddard – Kererū Discovery Trust –
tony@kererudiscovery.org.nz

Great Kererū Count 2018 takes flight

By | Press Release | 2 Comments

Kiwi’s asked to make kererū count!

The Great Kererū Count takes flight again with everyone in New Zealand being invited to be citizen scientists for the next 10 days and count kererū. The aim is to build up a comprehensive picture of where our native pigeon is – and isn’t – found.

The annual count runs from Friday 21 Sept until Sunday 30 Sept.

Making your kererū count is easy on the Great Kererū Count website www.greatkererucount.nz

Kererū are known as the gardeners-of-the-skies and play a crucial role in dispersing seeds of large native trees like tawa, taraire and matai.  They are the only bird left in New Zealand that can distribute these large seeds and help keep native forests growing.

Tony Stoddard, Kererū Discovery Trust, is encouraging everyone across New Zealand to take part in this year’s Great Kererū Count. “From 21 September to 30 September we want everyone out counting kererū from the top of the North Island to Stewart Island and everywhere in-between” says Stoddard.

“Kererū are our only native bird that wears the iconic New Zealand 70’s white singlet which makes them easy to spot perched in treetops or on power lines. They not only live deep in our forests but have also adapted well to urban living.”

Everyone in New Zealand can get involved with the Great Kererū Count, whether people see any kererū or not, sharing observations will help build up a clearer picture of where kererū live, how many kererū there are, what they are feeding on and most importantly, how best to protect them.

Dr Stephen Hartley, Director of the Centre of Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington, explains the scientific significance of the project. “Over time, we hope to discover whether numbers are increasing or decreasing and whether populations are faring better or worse in some parts of the country compared to others.

“Given the ecological importance of kererū, this information is critical not just for protecting this species, but for ensuring the vitality of our forest ecosystems for future generations.”

Kererū are protected birds and endemic to New Zealand. Kererū numbers today are much lower than the flocks reported from 50-100 years ago. Despite this they do not have formal threatened status. This means that the Great Kererū Count is the only centralised data gathered to monitor the national trends of this significant bird. Information and data collected from this nation-wide citizen science project will be used to better protect kererū and to help save our native forests.

The main threat to kererū is predation by introduced mammalian predators, particularly feral cats, possums, stoats and rats. These threats are even more serious for kererū during nesting season, as unlike many of our other native birds, kererū only lay one egg per nest. Other threats include collisions with man-made objects such as fast-moving vehicles, overhead power and telephone wires, fences and windows, and most alarmingly, illegal hunting of kererū.

Each year the number of people participating in the Great Kererū Count has been steadily increasing. This long-term dataset will have significant value in helping understand the importance of conservation activities like restoration, trapping, and aerial 1080 operations in helping kererū numbers increase.

The Great Kererū Count is a collaborative project lead by Kererū Discovery in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington, WWF-New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

ENDS

Additional information

  • Kererū are also known as kūkū / kūkupa/ kokopa / New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) and the parea / Chatham Islands pigeon (Hemiphaga chathamensis).
  • The Great Kererū Count is in its fifth year.
  • In 2017 15,459 kererū were counted by more than 6,946 participants.
  • The Great Kererū Count observations can be made using the greatkererucount.nz Quick Observation page (no log-in required), or using the iNaturalist app for Android and iPhones. The app is available to download free from www.greatkererucount.nz.

 

Kererū Photos

High-resolution photos are available to download and use for media from:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/60164380@N03/albums/72157647281732710

all images © Tony Stoddard from Kererū Discovery Trust

Kererū video footage and Great Kererū Count poster, banner, flyer

These are available for download from Google Drive
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qvi4kIkxMxD-x2IlkDXHhE9iYuO_rWfI?usp=sharing

all images and video © Tony Stoddard from Kererū Discovery Trust

Social Media
Kererū Discovery Facebook: https://facebook.com/kererudiscovery
Kererū Discovery Twitter: https://twitter.com/KereruDiscovery


#GKC2018
#GreatKereruCount
#kererudiscovery
@kererudiscovery

 

For more information, please contact:

Tony Stoddard – Kererū Discovery Trust

tony@kererudiscovery.org.nz