By Justine Newnham
Did you know that at there is a marine reserve between Rosebank Peninsula and Waterview? Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve spans over 500 hectares of intertidal mudflats, tidal channels, mangrove swamps, saltmarsh, and shell banks.
In a marine reserve the marine life is totally protected from fishing, shellfish gathering and any other type of disturbance to the marine life. The species and habitats within the reserve are left to grow naturally and any degraded areas are allowed to recover.
Mangroves and saltmarsh provide a rich feeding ground for many birds and marine life. The white-faced heron, pukeko, spotless crane, and the endangered banded rail rely on the marine reserve for their food source, as well as several non-waders, including the kingfisher and fernbird. Red-billed gulls, black-billed gulls, and terns also visit the marine reserve.
International migrants such as godwits, knots, and sandpipers breed in North Asian wetlands during the Northern spring and summer, then fly south to avoid being frozen in winter.
The South Island pied oyster catcher and the wrybill are national migrants, breeding on the shingle beds of South Island braided rivers in spring, then flying to northern harbours and estuaries for the late summer, autumn, and early winter.
The fernbird has only a few surviving populations in the Auckland area due to habitat destruction of the shoreline shrubs and coastal forest. These birds nest close to the ground, making their eggs vulnerable to predation by rats, cats and dogs.
Protection such as pest control is important for these birds within the Marine Reserve. The Whau River Catchment Trust currently have over 100 traps set up around the esplanade reserves of the Rosebank Peninsula.
If you would like to become involved in pest control or assist us in any way, please contact Justine at the Whau River Catchment Trust: Justine@whauriver.org.nz or mobile: 021 627 864 or the office at (09) 627 3372.
1 Fernbird/mātātā, Oranihina Park, Te Atatu Peninsula. Photo: Jeremy Painting.
2 Banded rail/moho-pererū, Oranihina Park, Te Atatu Peninsula. Photo: Jeremy Painting.
3 Motu Manawa (Pollen Island) Marine Reserve. Photo: Justine Newnham.