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Help wanted with kereru count

Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013
Kereru

KERERU COUNT: The public is being asked to help tally the numbers of native wood pigeons in parks and gardens.

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People get the chance to play detective for the day as they help figure out how well native wood pigeons are doing in their area.

Kereru look for all the world like chooks perched on power lines in country areas and they seem to be everywhere. However, introduced pests like cats, rats and stoats are taking their toll on these beautiful birds. So keeping track of birds numbers in different areas each year is important.

Last year the Kiwi Conservation Club, Forest & Bird's junior division, ran its first kereru count, with more than 1100 recorded sightings of kereru around the country.

This year the count runs from 9am Sunday, February 24 to 3pm Monday, March 4, with keen spotters asked to visit gardens, parks and reserves and count the number of kereru.

Then log on to the kereru count website to record the location, number spotted, what the kereru were doing, and if possible the type of plants they were feeding on.

"Kereru are our only native pigeon and as well as being big, beautiful birds, they are important to the health of native forests. They distribute seeds in their droppings. Only kereru can swallow the really big seeds of tawa, taraire and karaka," conservation club national co-ordinator Ann Graeme says.

She says data will identify where there is a need for more pest control and ensure future development of green spaces supports boosting numbers of resident kereru.

The club is hoping to make the survey an annual event.

Visit kererucount.org.nz.

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- Rodney Times

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