How can I protect braided rivers?

All of us have a part to play when it comes to protecting our braided rivers and the fragile habitats within them.

Here are some of the ways we can all work to protect this significant natural resource:

  • Allowing braided rivers room to move protects their natural character. Speak with us before building any flood defences, planting willows or cultivating new areas near braided rivers.
  • When you’re planning any activity, remember that braided river ecosystems include not only the active channels but also the interconnected habitats adjacent, such as the vegetated river margins, spring-fed streams, wider braidplains and wetlands.
  • Dispose of offal and waste on farms and landfills in a way that does not encourage or feed karoro/southern black-backed gulls, which are exploding in numbers, as they prey on threatened braided river birds.
  • Gravel extractors have responsibilities under the Canterbury Regional River Gravel Extraction Code of Practice (PDF file, 4.62MB) and their individual consent. However, it’s a great opportunity for extractors to work with their council or local rivercare group to find ways to improve habitat for breeding birds. Meanwhile, taking care to avoid creating easy vehicle access and being aware of birds is also helpful.
  • Clean vehicles and boots before traveling in or around braided river areas – weeds are often found along tracks and where vehicles or machinery have travelled, as these spread easily and can quickly outcompete native habitats.
  • If you do discover weeds, please report them, especially in more remote areas. The Find A Pest biosecurity surveillance app is a handy way and even pests that are not listed can be reported.
  • Learn about our precious braided river birds and why it is so important that we protect them.

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