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Our Environment: Issue 13 Summer 1997

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Pattern Emerging In Kereru Sightings

Cashmere is a favourite spot for the kereru or New Zealand pigeon. Forty four of the 113 sightings so far in the Christchurch Environment Centre's "Spot the Pigeon Campaign" have been in the Cashmere Rd-Dyers Pass Rd-Victoria Park area.

Another 35 sightings were in the Glandovey-Harakeke area of Fendalton, 11 were in Cranmer Square and eight in the North Hagley-Merivale-Millbrook area. A further seven sightings were in or near the Botanic Gardens and Christchurch Hospital grounds.

The kereru was also seen in Diamond Harbour, Little River, Kaiapoi, Charteris Bay, Avonside and Sumner.

The Environment Centre still wants the the public to keep an eye out for the kereru and contact CEC with information on how many were seen, the location, what they were doing and what they were feeding on.

Environment Centre Liaison Officer Rick Fraser says that obviously the birds are moving around and the same birds will be spotted more than once. However a pattern is emerging.

The aim of the project is to establish how many kereru there are in Christchurch with a long term objective of launching a recovery programme in the city. "The project complements what other environmental groups are doing - especially in re-establishing native habitats - and is supported by Forest and Bird, the Department of Conservation, Addington Bush Society and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve," Rick Fraser says.

Nine of the kereru were spotted at one time in Fendalton. Six were seen together in Cranmer Square and Cashmere.

Reports reveal that the kereru has been feeding on a 50/50 mix of natives and exotics including flowers, fruit and berries from flax, cabbage trees, ngaio, kahikatea, holly trees, tree lucerne and apple, plum, pear and cherry trees.

Once one of the most common birds in New Zeand, kereru numbers have decreased due to predators and the clearing of native forests. They are now fully protected.

If you spot a kereru please phone the Christchurch Environment Centre, phone 379-2257.

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