Ōpāwaho/Heathcote River – (Re)connecting catchment communities

The Ōpāwaho (or Heathcote River) is one of two main rivers that weaves its way through Ōtautahi (Christchurch) on its way to the Avon Heathcote Estuary (Ihutai). Once a pristine lowland waterway, and an abundant source of food and resources for Ngāi Tahu, the Ōpāwaho is currently in poor health. While the state of the river has improved since...

What crawls beneath the surface?

Invertebrate life in New Zealand’s rivers and streams We all know about the kiwi and the kākāpō, but what iconic species are lurking beneath the surface of our rivers and streams? Freshwater invertebrates (animals without a backbone) are amazingly diverse: from taonga species such as kākahi (freshwater mussels) and kōura (crayfish), to insects, worms and snails. Just as forests are home to different animals than...

The Waiho river: disaster central

Waiho river, Franz Josef glacier
Because of its natural environment, the Waiho river in Westland has been increasing in elevation since the mid 20th century. What risks does it present to the Franz Josef Glacier township nearby? Professor Tim Davies examines the geomorphological challenges presented by this unique Westland river.

CAREX: a collaborative approach to waterway rehabilitation

riparian planting
Currently, there is considerable interest around the impacts that agriculture is having on water quality. Nationwide the focus has been on highlighting the issues but little attention has been paid to what the solutions might be. The Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment (CAREX)* is a stream restoration project that has focused on finding solutions. CAREX has been running since 2013, designing and trialling...

The Amazon River: water flow dynamics and its ecosystem interactions

Each year during the wet season, the Amazon river rises to create an internationally significant wetland, that's nearly three times the size of New Zealand. Professor Matthew Wilson shares a view from the field while studying the flow dynamics of the largest river in the world..

The Amazon is on fire! Can it save itself?

amazon river, mist, morning
74,000 fires have been burning for more than 30 days across the nearly one million hectares of Latin American Amazon comprising the world's largest tropical rainforest. The fires have burnt through the territory of more than 400 distinct indigenous peoples, who have supplied world markets with natural resources for more than five centuries and, in turn, received the ‘curse...
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