Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bird use of the sediment settlement ponds and roost areas at Port Whangarei

TitleBird use of the sediment settlement ponds and roost areas at Port Whangarei
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsBeauchamp, AJ, Parrish, GR
Type of Articlepaper
Keywordsdredge ponds, roosts, Waders, Whangarei

The sediment ponds and tidal flats at Port of Whangarei have been significant roost areas for waders since they were created from dredge tailing in the late 1960s. In 1971, 11 species of waders fed or roosted in this area; New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus), White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata), Caspian Tern (S. caspia) and Black-backed Gull (Larus dominicanus) bred there, and on six islands of mud and shell. Intensive observation in 1979-80 and 1995-98 found that the residency status of many species had changed. There were significant declines in the numbers of New Zealand Dotterel, Caspian Tern and Skylark (Alauda arvensis), and significant increases in the numbers of Red- billed Gull (L. novaehollandiae scopulinus) and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). These changes were associated with development of sedimentation ponds and increases in weed-stabilised communities and cover by mangroves. Future bird use of this area is very dependent on the management of the ponds, and the rate of encroachment of mangroves or ponds over the main mudflat roost area. A new island would safeguard wader roosting in the upper harbour.

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