Resilience

The population of any given species needs to be strong enough to handle destructive natural and made made events. Without this resilience one event can wipe a species of the face of the planet forever. In New Zealand our rarest endemic breeding bird is the New Zealand fairy tern. With a population of only 40 birds this is the breakdown for the 2017-18 season.

  • 3-4 of last seasons surviving chicks which are too young to breed
  • 1 menopausal female
  • 1-2 ‘engaged’ couples who behave like they are breeding but do not lay eggs
  • 11-14 unpartnered males (the population is short on females)
  • 20 breeding birds (10 pairs)
  • It’s a fragile population with too many males (1:2 ratio). The other major concern is that during breeding season 80% of the population is on the same 40km stretch of coast. Here is where the breeding happened in 2017-18:

    East coast:
    Waipu 2
    Mangawhai 5
    Pakiri 1

    West coast:
    Papakanui 2

    The fragility is particularly exposed when we think about the threat of an oil spill from the RMS Niagara. This wreck is a time bomb just off the coast from this critical breeding habitat. Even a small amount of the submerged oil could easily cover the fairy terns breeding grounds for weeks, starving the birds to death in a matter of days.

    Forestry and water quality

    When I first heard about erosion in the Hunua Ranges causing havoc for Auckland’s water supply I wondered if it was because of recent deforestation. Drone footage shot by Watercare confirmed that theory for me (see stills below from this video). It seems strange media are not talking about it. To me it looks like just another case of our water being compromised for private profit.

    A little bird told me Watercare own the land and were in the midst of replanting it with natives – it would be good to know the full details. I will email them.

    Response
    http://www.watercare.co.nz/about-watercare/news/Pages/Watercare-to-regenerate-pine-forest-in-Hunua-Ranges-with-natives.aspx
    (2,089-72 = 2017) So sometime in 2017 they decided to start harvesting. But the wood in the pictures looks at least months old. My guess is the harvesting that caused the contamination was done in 2016 for private profit. Hard to tell from the information received. Awaiting a report with interest.

    Seacleaners

    I had a great day out yesterday with Seacleaners (sponsored by Watercare in Auckland) and Wilkinson Environmental.

    Plastic Pellets
    Simon took a lot of photos of small plastic pellets (used in the manufacture of plastic products) that littered the foreshore. Unfortunately we could not clean these up.
    Full boat
    We loaded up most of the boat in less than an hour or two, we had to stack up the back of the boat to balance the load.
    Bottle with black bottom section
    I remember these bottles from my childhood, amazing how long it takes for plastic to breakdown.

    Ambiance Impex

    This is so gross – documented here for Auckland Councils Pollution Response Team.

    Location:

    Please click on the thumbnails to see the full image.

    The front of the building
    The front of the building.
    Shows how they have to exit to do the dumping
    Shows how they have to exit to do the dumping.
    View from the dump site down into the stream
    View from the dump site down into the stream
    Paradise brand name clearly visible
    Paradise brand name clearly visible
    Organic waste – it smelt so bad
    Organic waste – it smelt so bad.
    View from the opposite side of the stream
    View from the opposite side of the stream.
    There  are also a lot of tires upstream
    There are also a lot of tires upstream.

    The Ambiance Impex brands dumped into the stream are all branded Paradise.

    impexWhen I first noticed the dumping in March and reported it to council the dumping was not so bad.

    I wonder if the tires are from this dodgy looking bridge which is no longer there but is still visible in the council satellite imagery.
    I wonder if the tires are from this dodgy looking bridge which is no longer there but is still visible in the council satellite imagery.

    Even tho this site 120m from the Manukau (West coast of NZ) it flows through the Tamaki Estuary to the Hauraki Gulf (East coast of NZ).

    UPDATE: 27 November.
    Eight months later and the site is still sending plastic like these Paradise branded ‘cut green beans’ into the harbour. I am giving the council regular updates on the site but I don’t know how much (if any) is being cleaned up by Ambiance Impex or if its just getting washed into the ocean.

    nov-27

    UPDATE: 23 Feburary.
    Ambiance Impex still show little regard for the environment sending further plastic into the stream.