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Managing a Burrowing Bird Population the Maori Way

Cara J

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The sustainable management of a bird population for food is all about mathematics, at least the way the Maori have always approached it. New research tracking how these indigenous people from New Zealand harvest gray-face petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) chicks for food finds that they keep populations of the burrowing seabird at sustainable levels. Gray-faced petrel chicks are tied together as a ‘hui’ (group or collection) before being carried back to the boat.Image Credit: Phil Lyver “Maori view their role (and the role of humans) as being subservient to elements of the natural world,” said Phil Lyver of Landcare Research and the lead author of a new study in The Journal of Wildlife Management. “The loss of that worldview within societies today is held partly responsible for the degraded state of biodiversity.” The Maori people have been harvesting the seabirds since the 1300s in New Zealand, and the practice is important for their cultural tradition, identity and community, among other things. They don’t sell the birds commercially and only consume high-fat chicks, which has a lower impact on the growth of the population. In fact, Maori consider it a customary crime to harvest adults — a practice that appeared to be [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/managing-a-burrowing-bird-population-the-maori-way/

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