Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Please help us find our missing bittern!

Please help us find our missing bittern! By Emma Willams PhD researcher on bittern 4 June 2015 Last Spring we put transmitters on six male Australasian bitterns at Lake Whatumā, near Waipukurau, Hawkes Bay. When the breeding season finished in January, and the water levels on the lake dropped, all six bitterns left the area. We have been able to re-find five of these birds but the sixth bittern, Tama Tomoana, is still missing! Can you help us find him? We’re asking anyone with access to telemetry gear to check any wetlands, streams, farm ponds, drains and small lakes in their area. We believe he is still in the Hawkes Bay area but in reality he could be anywhere in the country. Recently an Australasian bittern carrying a satellite transmitter in Australia travelled 550 Km, across two state borders, within 11 days!…We don’t know if our bitterns travel the same distances. We’re assuming that Tama could be anywhere! Join the national hunt…and if you find him please contact Emma on 0272462274,

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emma

    I do a lot of fly fishing in the Rakaia catchment of
    Canterbury; There are bittern in the flax willow and reeds
    just west of the Rakaia Huts settlement Chch side of the the
    main Rakaia River; there are isolated pockets of native bush
    in amongst the willow and blackberry

    This is actually a better area for them in my view than the
    Waimakariri as it is more remote; there is good cover; less
    people and cats; good food; and year round water with the
    streams feeding the lagoon; Healthy populations of Oyster
    Catcher; Grey and white herons; white and black swans; and
    kingfishers and even native koura in the spring fed streams

    The spring fed stream immediately west of the Huts has been
    seeded with salmon in recent years who now come up and spawn
    in it; it is unfishable due to the willow fall so a
    wonderful reserve for trout salmon and birds and I've seen
    some large native eels in there