Eglinton River Habitat

The Eglinton River bed is an important habitat for several species of birds and other fauna. Nowadays this habitat is overgrown by lupins,

thistle and other weeds, and introduced predators are causing havoc at nesting sites. A volunteer group has been established to protect black-fronted terns, which are classified as endangered, and other species.Why are lupins regarded as weed plants?Volunteers needed! What has been doneIn relation to pest control, the Department of Conservation (DOC) has established a monitoring programme for birds that live on the shingle of the Eglinton River.And here is an extract from an email from November 2008 written by Colin O'Donnell from Science Centre of DOC with some basic information and suggestions:"After seeing steady recovery in black-fronted tern numbers following the start of stoat control, their numbers crashed following both the recent rat plagues. However, once we get that problem sorted out we predict a sustained increase.

However, this won't happen unless there is some parallel weed control at least in the main tern breeding areas.

Terns and other braided river specialists only nest on bare shingle, and mainly on islands. Although there are still a few bare islands in the Eglinton used by terns, these are very low lying and prone to frequent flooding, causing low breeding success. I imagine that some form of valley-wide control would be extremely expensive. But at least as an initial step, targeted control of a number of breeding islands annually should be achievable."Colin and his team cleared as a trial on a small island in 2008/09 season and it has proved to be successful. Therefore weed annual weed control is advisable. it doesn't need to cost too much if it is done by volunteers - just our time and labor. So now we need to start and get people together before the beginning of breeding season...You can download and print our leaflet

In February 2009 couple of volunteers continued in clearing of some shingle areas. We could see fledgelings with their parents - the clear success of "Colin's group" trial clearing. In April 2009 DOC has sprayed selected areas in attempt to eradicate lupins. Anyway autumn floods transferred big amount of shingle so we might check again suitable nesting locations.September - 2 flocks of app 30 and 8 birds are sighted. Trial clearing of young lupins and old plants.November 5 & 11 - clearing of Walter Creek site within two working days by over 30 volunteers.

Year 2011 was successful with increased number of fledglings.

In 2011 True Travel Ltd donated 30 trap boxes and in 2012 seven new self setting traps - read more about the new traps A24.