Ducks by the hundred get ‘blinged up’ for scientific research
Hundreds of Bay of Plenty ducks are helping scientific research into their populations and habits by getting “blinged up” with bright, shiny bands on their legs.
The annual research programme by Fish & Game sees the small metal bands put on the ducks’ legs to help gather crucial data, such as the birds’ movements, productivity, population sizes and survival rates.
Each band has a unique number which is recorded by Fish & Game and included in the national bird banding data base administered by the Department of Conservation.
When a band is recovered, the number will show where and when it was originally banded and how long it has lived and travelled.
Some ducks travel surprising distances, with bands being recovered from Pacific Islands such as New Caledonia.
This week, a team of Fish & Game’s Eastern Region staff and volunteers have begun banding at Waewaetutuki Reserve near Pongakawa in the Bay of Plenty.
The banding programme has been running for 23 years and results in thousands of ducks throughout the North Island being banded.
As well as the Eastern Region, Fish & Game in Wellington, Auckland/Waikato and Taranaki are also part of the duck banding programme.
The information gathered from the banding research helps Fish & Game set sustainable duck harvesting numbers for the game bird hunting season and how long the season should be.
How is banding done? Have at look at the video here.