Wetlands are a forgotten habitat and many people under-rate their importance. Over 90 percent of New Zealand’s wetlands have been drained or filled.
Most threats to wetlands come from human activity.
Just a few changes in the way land is managed can make a big difference to water quality and wetland conservation.
- possible removal of water for irrigation and stock water
- reduced water quality from sediment and nutrient farm run-off
- Nutrient run off from farmland into waterways
- emerging weeds such as broom and Russell lupins
- didymo and other freshwater pests
- damage from vehicles, rabbits, hares and stock
- threats to native and at-risk species from predators.
- recording plant, bird, lizard, invertebrate and fish populations
- monitoring programmes for the above species
- listing cultural values and setting up a taonga monitoring programme
- weed control
- researching bird breeding success and habitat use
- fencing riparian margins
- raising awareness of wetland values
- planning for responsible recreational use
- ongoing pest control.
The Ashburton Lakes are used for many different recreational activities. It is important that people who use them and the surrounding areas follow the environmental care code:
- protect plants and animals
- remove rubbish
- bury toilet waste more than 50 metres from waterways
- keep streams and lakes clean
- take care with fires
- camp carefully
- keep to the track
- consider others
- respect our cultural heritage
- toitu te whenua (leave the land undisturbed).
Also Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering or moving between waterways to stop the spread of didymo.