Chudleigh wetland study

Toi Ohomai students Lukas Phan-huy and Rae Jung carried out a research project in the Chudleigh wetland over the summer of 2020-21.

Located on the Uretara river mouth at the northern edge of Katikati township, this wetland is referred to as the Chudleigh Wetland, after local wildlife photographer, the late Brian Chudleigh. This is a working title as the wetland has not been formally named. This land had been used as grazing land for decades but in recent years has slowly reverted to a wetland. This transformation was initially met with local indignation and Brian Chudleigh was one of the first defenders of this change, pointing out the potential ecological value of this shift. While some pest species have established, the emerging wetland has successfully attracted populations of rare native bird species. This has not gone unnoticed by the community and many locals as well as visitors now enjoy bird watching from the popular Bird Walk and Yeoman Walkway, which borders one side of the wetland.

The Uretara Wetland Inventory project recorded, for the first time, the ecological state of the wetland by applying a wide range of ecological surveys. The goal was to create a record of different variables including analysis of species composition, water quality and sediment structure. This should serve as a benchmark for future monitoring and can be used as a guide for any other wetland restoration projects of similar nature. Providing those baseline records was the primary motivation of this project and no in-depth analysis of the data was conducted.

The full report on the findings can be read here.  For all of the appendices, please contact us.

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