Dunedin and Otago people have traditionally topped the pecking order as the country’s most enthusiastic participants in this Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research-led survey, now in its 15th year.
And last year’s Covid-19 lockdown, and more time spent at home watching the birds, may have been an unexpectedly powerful factor in the big survey response, both nationally and in the South, survey organiser Dr Eric Spurr said.
The overall response was the biggest in the survey’s history, up 91% from 3082 in 2019 to 5896 last year, including a 34% increase in Otago (from 530 to 710).
“Otago people continue to contribute more survey forms than other parts of the country on a per capita population basis,” Dr Spurr said.
Otago residents last year provided 12% (710) of the national returns, despite the region containing only 5% of the country’s gardens.