Get your ducks in a row22/09/2014
Operation Duckpond is a chance to take part in a fun and useful citizen science project.
Which habitats provide the best breeding conditions for ducks and similar birds?
Operation Duck Pond is a new citizen science project that aims to find out, and it needs your help.
Fish & Game NZ has launched the initiative, which involves volunteers around the country counting waterfowl on their local ponds. The organisation says the project will help both introduced and our native birds.
“With about 90 per cent of New Zealand’s wetland lost over the past 150 years, there’s a need to look at the role ponds play in the conservation of water birds,” project coordinator Nathan Burkepile says.
Fish & Game are encouraging bird and science enthusiasts of all ages to get involved in Operation Duck Pond.
All volunteers will be given a simple set of instructions on how to go about the monitoring, and a manual telling them how to run the survey, to ensure consistency of the data collected.
Those taking part will be helping to sustain New Zealand’s wildlife: both native and introduced species, while at the same time taking responsibility for their local waterways. Ponds across the landscape are used for various purposes, such as stock watering, irrigation, and stormwater capture.
The volunteers will start by filling out a ‘pond characteristics’ datasheet and will then be asked to count waterfowl four times over a four month period beginning in September.
Fish & Game aim to spend $300,000 on a variety of studies and programmes to improve waterfowl management and hunting opportunities.