Dig that Cicada Rhythm n Blues

It’s that time of year when the Cicada makes their circadian debut (yep pun intended) following a 17-year internment buried deep underground.

, Dig that Cicada Rhythm n Blues

Cicada give us a brilliant insight into the health (or not) of a particular ecosystem. With many different species living just about everywhere in New Zealand from swamp to mountain top, from a sandy beach to semi-tropical rainforest – the one typical thing is the deafening chorus a healthy colony creates at this time of year.

But nowadays, traveling through GodZone can be depressingly quiet. Our government’s obsession with mass poisoning kills just about everything that breaths air. Cicada are especially hit hard as a single dose of insecticide can wipe out a 17-year old colony in one fell swoop.

Interestingly enough, driving this morning along the boundary of a property 1080’d a couple of years back, there is no sign of cicada, apart from a few enclaves with a loud chorus adjacent to buildings where aerial 1080 would have had to avoid – but then back to the sound of silence immediately after.

It was good to get home to appreciate just what noisy insect neighnours I enjoy.

Just a few weeks ago, I drove through the Aorangi State Forest, and during the whole day I saw not a single solitary bird, only a couple of dragonflies, and in just one magical 20-metre spot were the familiar sounds of cicada – everywhere else ghostly silence. When people talk of the Silent Forest I know exactly what they mean, and if other people disagree then all I can say is you obviously don’t get out there very much.

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2 Responses to Dig that Cicada Rhythm n Blues

  1. Greg Kemp says:

    I know the Aorangi State Forest very well and frequently stay at Sutherland’s Hut located roughly in the centre.
    1080 hit hard in 2014 and again a few years later. The birdlife hasn’t recovered since that much, despite press releases from DOC to the contrary.
    This year there are cicadas at the Hut, but not many other places. The Lookout to the south on the outskirts of the Forest is completely quiet as well.

  2. Fred Hemi says:

    It’s not only cicadas. At Taupo rivers I haven’t seen a green (manuka) beetle in years and there used to be millions of them. OSPRI did 1080 drops – blessed by DOC. Bird life has been affected. For instance moreporks at night have gone. Before 1080 there used to be many calling. Gone. Thanks DOC.

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