DOC Urges 4WD Users to Avoid Riverbeds in Bird Nesting Season

November 28, 2023

The Department of Conservation (DOC), Environment Canterbury, and Waimakariri District Council work together, alongside the community and other authorities, to manage the impacts of vehicles and other recreationists on the riverbed during nesting season.

DOC North Canterbury Operations Manager Leeann Ellis says these birds evolved to nest in the open river gravel and relied on camouflage to keep them safe from the native birds of prey, which were their only predators until introduced mammals arrived. This means they are vulnerable to disturbance and difficult for river users to spot.

"We know there are three sites with nesting birds in the upper stretch of the river (above the Okuku River confluence), which is managed by DOC, and we're asking drivers to please stay out of the riverbed during nesting season.

"In past years, a large number of vehicles have gathered on the Ashley River/Rakahuri for Crate Day and we're calling for people to go somewhere other than riverbeds if they must participate in Crate Day, or just wait until the nesting season is over in February."

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This article was posted by Peter Vahry in News | Land access (909 reads)