A census of reef herons (Ardea sacra) in the Marlborough Sounds
|Title||A census of reef herons (Ardea sacra) in the Marlborough Sounds|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Type of Article||Full article|
|Keywords||census, Marlborough Sounds, population estimate, reef heron|
A total of 57 reef herons (Ardea sacra) were counted during a survey of the entire 1,500 km coastline of the Marlborough Sounds in spring 2006. Most birds were encountered in the outer part of the sounds rather than the more developed inner sounds. The total New Zealand population is estimated at 300-500 birds. Both the Marlborough Sounds and national population appears to have been stable for the past 40 years. With a small but stable population the reef heron’s threat classification in New Zealand should be changed from Nationally Vulnerable to Naturally Uncommon. The species is secure overseas with New Zealand being the southernmost limit for the species.