TO THE ED­I­TOR Man­groves frus­tra­tion

Coastal News - - Front Page -

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

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