Birdsong still strong

09 Dec 2010

After 60 landowners joined hands with Forest & Bird in 2008 and laid pest traps throughout the land, monitoring their success was the next step of this project.

A rough survey of the birds is the good way to assess the success of the rodent traps as a decrease in rodents means an increase in birds.

So, a simple bird survey was organised for residents allowing them to count birds on their own property. The survey was carried out in on 2009 and recently again in November 2010, with an average of 45 residents participating each year.

While the results of the two years cannot be compared because the surveyors and areas differ, the numbers do still give us a rough idea of the success. Without pest control, it is extremely difficult for the bird population to sustain its numbers.

According to this survey, the decline in bird numbers is not steep, especially of native birds like the tui, silvereye and pukeko – an extremely positive sign. A total of 2408 birds in 2009 and 1587 in 2010 have been seen in the approximately 160 hectares of pest controlled land during the one hour of survey – with nearly 30% of these being native species.

More important than the numbers and statistics is the fact that the residents have been enthusiastic about being involved the conservation efforts. They have included the bird survey and pest trapping as valued projects of 2010 in their local community newsletter – the Pare Publisher.

And what is greater is that they admit to hearing a lot more birdsong.