Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
In 2008 I spent two weeks living on Pitt Island in the Chatham island group. Pitt is the second largest island and has about 40 people living on it. It is a wild and desolate island with much of the island being sheep or cattle farmland. Yet there are two DOC reserves with native forest. It was the bird populations in these forests that I was monitoring for the Department of Conservation, one of which, Caravan Bush has a predator proof fence around it. Wild cats are on the island and the fact that cats have not been eradicated from this island, which would certainly be feasible, is a great tragedy for conservation as Pitt Island is strategically located for the reintroduction of many of the critical endangered birds on the Chathams. Also much of the remaining forest is highly degraded by wild pigs and cattle. The most eerie aspect was walking amongst the giant nikau trees on the island and hearing the wind howl through them with many of the ancient Nikaus slowly getting wind blown and loosing their canopy or just falling over. Tragically outside of Caravan Bush there are no young Nikaus to regenerate. The islands farmers have to make a living but it is a highly marginal enterprise with the island's remoteness- the wealth is in cray and paua fisheries. To this day my memories of Pitt Island are of an isolated and desolate island on which a single pair of albatross bravely breed on a wind swept mountain top. Things may have changed since 2008 ? I certainly hope so. Photo- standing between the shadow of two Pitt Island Nikaus.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Living in Christchurch it often surprises me how few people know about or send time at Lake Ellesmere ( Te Waihora) which is New Zealand's fourth largest lake. The lake is a vast wetland wilderness on the edge of a city, rich in bird and fish life. There are also options for water based recreation and photography. A virtual wilderness. One connection from the edge of Christchurch city to the lake is the Halswell River which flows for 20 kilometres before emptying into the lake. The Halswell River is a large spring creek that starts in the suburb of Halswell. In it's upper reaches it has fast flowing water over a gravel bed and a rich diversity of native fish such as lamprey, eels and bullies along with several species of Galaxid ( whitebait) . The Halswell is also brown trout fishery. Yet the river has suffered from high silt loads over the last ten years that have degraded it's values, yet it still remains a rich and biological diverse waterway. the lower Halswell, just before it flows into Lake Ellesmere , is an extremely productive environment. Thousands of juvenile eels live in the rivers sediment. The endangered Australasian bittern breeds in raupo beds. Indeed the lower Halswell River may be the most productive and bio-diverse spring creek on the South Island's East Coast. The river is a vital input of freshwater into lake Ellesmere. The best way to experience the Halswell River is to take a day to kayak its length. To me the Halswell is a special river for trout fishing, eeling and wildlife photography- very much an overlooked connection by many. For more information on the Halswell River I have set up this Facebook Group- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Halswell-River-Awareness-Group/316784828345802 Please "Like" if interested. Your observations and comments are welcome. Thanks- Peter Langlands/Wild capture Research
Monday, April 21, 2014
Bittern blog: Bitterns return to the mouth of the Avon River: For the third year in a row ( 2012-2014) bitterns have returned to the mouth of the Avon River. It is very pleasing to have such a rare bir...
Thursday, December 19, 2013
One of only two black-fronted tern fledglings produced from a colony of 60+ pairs on the upper Rangitata which was partially flooded and may have also been predated. Breaks my heart to see photos of people driving 4wds through colonies on the more stable, smaller rainfed foothill rivers in Canterbury when I see how hard these birds struggle in the more unstable high country rivers- this species is seriously on the way out unless more active management takes place
Monday, August 19, 2013
A 15 page guide to the edible seaweed species found in New Zealand's South Island. Written and photographed by Peter Langlands. A practical guide for the wild food forager with key information on the different types of seaweed, where and when to harvest, and key tips for seaweed preparation and recipes. Seaweeds are well known for their health benefits and flavour, to enhance meals and add a unique point of interest. This guide will set you up to make the most of our seaweed resource. Sent out in PDF format as a Ebook for $15- to order please email me - email@example.com
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Thanks to National Radio- Katherine Ryan for the opportunity to talk about our whitebait fishery today- 190813. I am just completing the 2013 Canterbury Whitebaiting Guide - which covers techniques and locations along with a selection of photographs of white baiting in the region. The guide will be available from 1 September and is written, photographed and illustrated by Peter Langlands. the 50 page guide is sent out electronically as a PDF file for $20. To order please email me- firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck all for the season ahead.