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Wild for Taranaki members have certainly demonstrated an appetite for learning in the last few months. This time round, we were delighted to host Fish and Game’s Wellington team for a course on duck banding. Luckily for us, the team were undeterred by atrocious weather conditions and challenging duck catching scenarios and shared the depth of their expertise with humour.
We started the course at Lake Mangamahoe where a group of 7 novice banders were handed duck-leg sized sticks and instructed on how to fit the band ensuring the ducks’ safety during the fitting and for the rest of their lives. We then moved onto live subjects under the constant supervision of our trainers and successfully banded (and sexed!) 28 mallards.
Next, we headed back indoors for a theory session covering Fish and Game’s extensive banding programme as well as the organisation’s impressive environmental portfolio.
The following day, we wrapped-up with another banding session at Te Henui in New Plymouth. The weather had improved but unfortunately the ducks proved to be unimpressed with the snacks on offer and evaded the team’s early morning catching efforts. After multiple attempts, we were eventually able to herd a handful of candidates into the trap, giving all participants the opportunity to band and sex a mallard each.
We are so grateful for the generosity of Allen Stancliffe, Matt Kaverman, Ami Coughlan and Colin Shore without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Upskilling is a key component to achieving our ambitious collective conservation goals so thanks also to our members for joining us and trying their hand at something new. Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming opportunities and please get in touch if you have any specific areas of interest [email protected].