A three year census of wetland birds on Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, Canterbury during the post-breeding period
|Title||A three year census of wetland birds on Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, Canterbury during the post-breeding period|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Crossland, AC, Crutchley, P, Alexander, B, Harrison, K, Petch, S, Walker, J|
|Type of Article||Full Article|
|Keywords||Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, monitoring, population, wetland birds|
Monitoring of wetland birds was undertaken at Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora during the post-breeding period in February 2006, 2007 & 2008. Census totals were 38,726, 39,917 and 39,175 individual birds over the 3 years, respectively, and 46 wetland bird species were recorded. Nine species had a maximum count exceeding 1000 individuals, including 11,245 grey teal (Anas gracilis), 10,651 black swan (Cygnus atratus), 5776 pied stilt (Himantopus himantopus), 4899 Canada goose (Branta canadensis), 3405 Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis), 1873 banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus), 1640 paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata), 1592 black-billed gull (Larus bulleri) and 1389 mallard/grey duck (A. platyrhynchus/A. superciliosa). Fourteen species were recorded in numbers that met or exceeded the 1% Ramsar international significance criterion: Australasian crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), black cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), white heron (Ardea modesta), black swan, paradise shelduck, grey teal, Australasian shoveler, pied stilt, black stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae), banded dotterel, wrybill (Anarhynchus frontalis), black-billed gull, black-fronted tern (Childonias albostriatus), and Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia). Lake Ellesmere also supported populations of migratory bird species that are uncommon in New Zealand including curlew sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), sharp-tailed sandpiper (C. acuminata), red-necked stint (C. rufficolis), Pacific golden plover (Pluvailis fulva) and white-winged black tern (Childonias leucopterus). When compared to other coastal wetlands in terms of bird numbers, Lake Ellesmere ranked as the most important site in the Canterbury Region.