TO THE EDITOR Mangroves frustration
I refer to the article (Coastal News, Feb 8) where it is stated “Mangroves are the last remaining lifeline for the banded rail which would not survive without them”.
May I point out that one of the largest colonies of banded rail is in the Nelson area where there is not a mangrove in sight.
Having worked in the mangroves for the last 20 years in Whangamata, I get very frustrated with some of the statements about mangroves.
Any book on birds will tell you that banded rail live in the rushes where they nest and breed.
I don’t think the mangroves are protection for any bird as they have numerous water rats living in and around the area and are indeed detrimental to the feeding habits of the banded rail.
They feed on the outskirts of mangroves and have to run the gauntlet with predators lurking in the forest of mangroves.
Another statement commonly made is that mangroves are a nursery for fish. I find this hard to believe as mangroves have water around them for only a third of the day.
Where does the nursery go for the other two thirds of the day?
In conclusion, I would like to know if the Whangamata community wants a mangrove swamp or a harbour?
BRIAN GRANT Deputy chairman, Whangamata Harbour Care views Make sure all the mangroves have been removed before allowing all the ingredients to flow freely into an estuary. RESULT: MUD PIE PHIL COSTELLO Whitianga