Written by Chris Gee (volunteer and boat skipper) and Ellen Irwin (Lead Ranger, Conservation)
In 2021, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne carried out a project to restore the mouri and water quality of the lower reservoir, Roto Kawau. As part of this project, the water level of the reservoir was lowered by six metres, creating an expanse of bare, fractured mud. An important aspect at the beginning of this whole project was implementing a wildlife hazard management plan to identify any specific hazards to Zealandia species presented by the lower reservoir operation, and to consider mitigation approaches where necessary. This article discusses how the kawau/shag species reacted to the lowering water level.