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Get counting kereru in September

GISBORNE bird watchers are encouraged to be part of the Great Kereru Count from September 20 to September 29.

It is called New Zealand’s biggest citizen science project.

This project depends on as many people as possible getting out and about to gather data on kereru.

Each year the number of people taking part grows, and last year kereru were voted Bird of the Year, proving just how much New Zealanders love the native wood pigeon.

To take part, people can log on to www.greatkererucount.nz, then it is as easy as clicking away from either their smartphone, tablet or computer.

There is also an app to download to for smartphones called the iNaturalist.

A spokesperson from Urban Wildlife Trust, which is one of the organisations that make this happen, have said the more people who share observations will help build up a clearer picture of where kereru live, how many kereru there are or aren’t, what they are feeding on, and most importantly how best to protect them.

“So far New Zealand citizen scientists have contributed to a total of 34,961 observations. In another few years, Aotearoa will have a statistically robust open-source data set on kereru. This data will be used by scientists at Victoria University of Wellington and elsewhere to improve conservation outcomes for kereru.”

The Great Kereru Count is a collaborative project from the Urban Wildlife Trust & Kereru Discovery along Wellington City Council, Dunedin City Council, Nelson City Council and Victoria University of Wellington.

STRUTTING THEIR STUFF: September 20 to 29 is the time to count kereru (native wood pigeons). The data will be used to build up a clearer picture of where kereru live, how many there are and what they are feeding on. File picture