Yarr’s Flat Wildlife Reserve & Yarr’s Lagoon: an assessment of fauna present to guide future restoration and conservation of native species

Two sites of ecological interest, Yarr’s Lagoon and Yarr’s Flat Wildlife Reserve along the LII or Araiara River in Selwyn District, Canterbury were surveyed for terrestrial fauna of interest. A variety of standard methods including pitfall traps, Malaise traps and light traps (for invertebrates), tracking tunnels (for lizards and mammals), five minute bird counts (for birds) were used to assess the fauna present. A higher diversity of ground beetles were found in willow habitats than native habitats at both Yarr’s Flat and Yarr’s Lagoon. Native moth larva, weevils and mites were found on glasswort at Yarr’s Flat. Eleven and seven native birds were found at Yarr’s Lagoon and Yarr’s Flat respectively. Of interest was a probable sighting of sandpiper curlew at Yarr’s Flat and secretive marsh crake at Yarr’s Lagoon. Lizards found included the common skink at Yarr’s Flat and an unknown skink at Yarr’s Lagoon. Tracking tunnels found prints from possum, mice, hedgehog, rats and mustelid at Yarrs Flat and only possum and mice from Yarr’s Lagoon. Ecological restoration of the two areas are discussed and recommendations for the management of the native biodiversity is given.
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