A community guide to finding īnanga spawning sites (2022)
Type of ContentOther
PublisherMarine Ecology Research Group
In recent years there has been an increasing focus on the recovery of whitebait species and sustainability of whitebait fisheries in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the same time, kaitiaki and rivercare groups have established many on-the-ground initiatives to help address these needs through monitoring, education and restoration. This guide has been funded by the Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Fund to support these collective efforts with a focus on community efforts and volunteers. It complements the original guide prepared by Charlie Mitchell and Tony Eldon over 30 years ago1 and includes some new information on where spawning sites are likely to be found in a variety of waterway types. The guide describes a core set of field surveys that are useful for finding spawning sites and step-by-step instructions for making measurements in the field. Part 3 discusses options for storing and sharing spawning site information which is becoming increasingly important (and useful!) for identifying sites for protection. This section includes instructions for the Whitebait Watch project on iNaturalist which provides a database and data entry functions that are easy to use. All of the methods are relatively simple and are well suited to being done by community groups with a similar level of accuracy to that of professional scientists. They are also suitable for a wide range of survey formats including educational field trips, baseline surveys and regular monitoring in local waterways. The core set of measurements can also be used as a component of more detailed surveys. This project has progressed in tandem with a more detailed set of guidelines for a technical science audience to support more complex measurements. Future updates to both sets of guidelines will be available through the DOC website.
RightsAttribution 4.0 International
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