Using artificial habitats as a natural habitat detection tool
We have a new paper published in the journal Ecological Indicators that describes the science behind using artificial habitats (such as straw bales) to as a detection tool. We used this appraoch to help identify īnanga spawning habitat in degraded waterways where egg mortality can make it difficult to find the eggs directly. Unfortunately, this is fairly common and the rate of eggs literally 'disappearing' can be surprisingly high.
This also shows that having good quality habitat available is a key factor in overall spawning success.