Miranda BioBlitz calling for volunteers.

31 Jan 2013

Forest & Bird members are invited to take part in the BioBlitz in Miranda later this month to survey species at a significant migratory bird site.

Wrybill, Craig Mckenzie

Wrybill, Craig Mckenzie

The Miranda BioBlitz is organised by the Miranda Naturalists’ Trust (MNT) and will run from 6am to midnight on Thursday 28 February.

Organisers are inviting local groups, including Forest & Bird, schools, councils and iwi to search an important bird site for all species, which will then be identified by on-site experts. The target has been set to identify 1000 species in 18 hours.

Volunteer roles are varied, and may include looking for rare plants, insects and spiders, fishing for marine species and guiding other volunteers. Those with more specialist knowledge can help identify species.

The results will create an inventory of species and enable MNT to better plan future habitat management, restoration and enhancement, as well as monitor changes of this internationally important bird site.

The Firth of Thames is famous for its unique birdlife. Its rich food sources across 8500ha of intertidal and coastal margins support many species of shorebirds including New Zealand dotterels, variable oystercatchers, pied stilts, black-billed gulls, pied oystercatchers and wrybills.

The Firth is also part of the East Asia-Australasia Flyway and as a migration hub, attracts flocks from as far afield as the Arctic tundra regions. The famous female godwit “E7”, renowned for the 11,500km flight from Alaska, was part of the flock that uses the Miranda mudflats.

Throughout the BioBlitz, experts will share their knowledge in 10-minute public talks, and in addition the MNT hopes to have volunteers help with emptying fish traps, bird netting and moth trapping.

If you would like to volunteer please register your interest by emailing the Miranda Shorebird Centre shorebird@farmside.co.nz

Those who can offer specialist knowledge as an expert please email Forest & Bird’s Peter Maddison at maddisonpa@yahoo.com.au

More information about the BioBlitz will be posted on www.miranda-shorebird.org.nz closer to the time.