Southland Both Barrels July 2017

Last few hunting days

There are only a few days left of the 2017 waterfowl season! Hopefully you've been out and experienced a few good hunts, and have the freezer stocked up with ducks for the coming months.

If not, you have until July 30 to get amongst it!

And if you're up for an increased challenge – why not try limiting your shooting to green heads only?

The drakes tend to be bigger bodied, and there are certainly some brilliant plumage morphs at this time of year – feel free to share some photos with us!

Predator study update

We have just started placing live-capture cage traps around the landscape for feral cats to get accustomed to.

They are being baited with fresh rabbit meat so we can get regular visits from the local ferals, and equipped with game cameras so we can see the activity at each site.

During peak mallard hatch, we plan to capture some of these feral cats and attach GPS collars.

These collars will take location fixes every ten minutes so we can learn about the type of habitat feral cats are spending time in, and travelling along.

DSC 0215We will be able to merge this habitat information with our mallard nesting habitat, and combined with a diet study, we should gain some insight into how important mallards are in the diet of a feral cat.

Further, we should be able to offer some great advice to landowners on where to place cat traps in the Southland agricultural landscape to successfully intercept feral cat hunting beats.

Watch this space!

Erin Garrick, Southland Fish & Game Officer.

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