A Minute with Marco - April

Welcome back to Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni's monthly column.

Kia ora everyone! Hope you are all keeping well as we roar into the year.

eDNA freshwater surveys

Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead

Kaikōura and Hurunui Waiau Uwha zone delivery lead Marco Cataloni

This month we’re undertaking environmental DNA (eDNA) freshwater surveys in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and with the support of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura Environmental Pou.

These surveys help us have a greater understanding of what lives in our waterways. It also adds to national data and is valuable information for us here in Canterbury.

We will be eDNA testing at a number of sites around Kaikōura’s south coast. This follows surveys we conducted last year, including one that indicated giant kōkopu may be present in Middle Creek while searching for kanakana/lamprey — which we also found a signal for.

We are hoping to see whether we can find any shortjaw kōkopu in the catchments we test, following anecdotal sightings in the area. This will help us learn more about the range of this endangered species, which is mostly found in West Coast streams.

So keep an ear out for the results — we’ll let you know what we find once we have completed the surveys. Fingers crossed for some exciting finds!

Waiau Toa/Clarence River trapline plans

Now, to a funding announcement of a different kind, I can let you know the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee is supporting further work around the Waiau Toa/Clarence River.

The committee has recommended $4,415 be allocated towards a trapline in the area which would be monitored by the local rafting group. The traps have been made by the Kaikōura Men’s Shed, and deployment of them has already begun. This initiative builds on previous work/mahi we have contributed to in the catchment.

Looking ahead

Before we know it, we will be in the middle of the year, so just a wee reminder to keep looking after yourself and others in these colder months, especially with COVID-19 making the rounds again.

That’s all for now, folks. Talk again in May!