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ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY.

The annual meeting of the members of this society was held'on May 7, at their room, in the Mechanics' Institute, at 7 p.m. Mr E. Wilkin occupied the chair, and briefly explained the objects of the meeting. The financial statement was not presented, owing to the absence of Mr G. Gould, the treasurer, through ill-health. It was mentioned that a sum of £B4 was at the credit of the society, besides this there was a sum due to them for the sale of birds. Mr Stevens remarked that he had audited the accounts, and found that they approximately balanced. The discrepancy was very trifling. Mr Stevens explained some of the items in an interim statement read by him.

Mr Feredat proposed a vote of thanks t« Mr Stevens for the information which he had given to the meeting. Mr Feraday dwelt at some length upon the necessity of importing insectivorous birds, in order to destroy the caterpillars and other pests to the farmers; The plague of caterpillars was becoming a great and growing nuisance. Mr Dayie read the report of the Council for the year ending April 30. Report. " The council of the Canterbury Acclimatization Society, in presenting this their third annual report, congratulate the society on the increasing interest taken by the public in acclimatization, and on the considerable number of new subscribers.

" The salmon and trout experiment in Tasmania, towards which the society obtained a grant from the Provincial Government, having turned out very satisfactory, hopes were entertained that the past year would have seen the introduction of the trout into our streams; but it was thought better that the acceptance of the offer of the Tasmanian Salmon Commissioners should be deferred till the present year, when spawn from betterdeveloped fish would be obtainable, and at the same expense salmon ova might also be brought over, and in the meantime a more fitting reception could he provided for them in the gardens. " This latter object is now in a fair way of completion; two artesian wells have been sunk in the gardens, with an abundant flow of water, thus rendering the ponds in point of purity and temperature all that can be desired. Ova boxes have been provided, and a gully marked out for enclosure as a summer aviary for newly imported birds, which will also serve as a Bafe and fitting receptacle for the ova.

"Notwithstanding the want of suitable accommodation in the gardens for keeping on hand native birds, to fit them for exportation, a large number have been sent from time to time to various other countries and societies with the view of obtaining desirable exchanges, and the council take this opportunity of calling the attention of all well-wishers to the cause to the great advantages arising from contributions of native birds, more especially paradise ducks, blue ducks, ground parrots, and kiwi or apterix, which are either received as donations or exchanged at the gardens. " In order to guard against the great mortality usually befalling newly-imported birds after a long sea voyage, spacious and suitable aviaries well stocked with growing shelter have been erected in the gardens for the reception of new arrivals, preparatory to their being turned loose. The result has been very satisfactory. "Little success has hitherto attended the efforts to rear quail. An incubator was purchased by Mr Hill, and by his kindness was placed at the disposal of the society for the express purpose of quail-rearing, No success was obtained as regards quail, but a large number of young birds were hatched and subjected to various modes of treatment. For the hatching of poultry it proved valuable, but the variable and impure quality of the naptha frequently caused the lamp to be extinguished. The greatest loss thus incurred was in the pheasants' eggs presented to tho society by Mr J. C. Wilson.

" The lately discovered method of preserving the vitality of eggs during long seavoyages is likely to prove a valuable aid to the cause of acclimatization; and the council gladly accepted the offer of Mr Hill to obtain the necessary information on the subject, and to transmit a number of pheasant and other eggs from England. The attempt was unsuccessful, but it is intended to renew the experiment.

" The attempted introduction of hares also proved unsuccessful; the expenses oE importing them were generously borne by Mr Hill.

" All the rooks and several small birds imported by immigrants, died oil tlio passage. " The sum oiE £l5O, sent to England for tlio purclmso of small birds, was expended by Mr Hill; 148 insectivorous birds, besides pheasants nnd partridges, arrived in good order, Some losses were experienced on the' voyage, owing to the refusal of the person selected for the purpose, to leave England. " Tim council desire to record their senso of the invaluable services gendered by ('apt. Stevens, of the Matoaka, for his attention to the birds undor his charge. He is entitled to the honour of being the first introducer of that valuable insectivorous bird, the hedgesparrow, not only to New Zealand, but it is believed to the Southern Hemisphere. The single surviving specimen remains an object of interest in the gardens, " The valuable assistance also rendered by Mr Marshman, and the liberality of Messrs Shaw Savill and Co,, iu gratuitously placing a large

amount of space at the disposal of the Society, entitle them to the sincere thanks of the Council, lmt more especially the thanks arc duo to Mr Ilill, who zealously devoted much Yflluable time and money during his visit to England, in furthering the interests of the Society, and at whose instigation one of tho best written articles on the treatment of insectivorous birds, during a sea voyage, appenred in I)r Buckland's now publication, Land and Water.

" Tho experience, gained by the Society, in their first introduction on a large scale of insectivorous birds, leads the Council to hopo that, with judicious management, this class of birds may bo imported at a price remunerative to tho importer, the losses hitherto sustained being the greatest bar to private efforts in this direction.

" With this object in view, oven tho very losses sustained by the Society, have been turned to good account, and every opportunity lias been taken of disseminating that knowledge which will prevent future losses, and which, from the numerous letters and enquiries replied to, the public have not been backward in availing themselves of,

" Arrangements have been made with Capt. Stevens, for again bringing out a large quantity of small birds on his next return voyage, at prices for each pair, delivered in Port, whilst similar arrangements, but on a smaller scale, have been entered into with other persons. "Tho advantages'of the Panama route have also not been lost sight of, as affording a speedier and safe transit for birds with less risk of their dying when their destination has been reached, and the Council hope to avail themselves of the liberality of the Mail Steam Company, in offering free shiproom on board their steamers, for birds, &e., belonging to the society. "Recognizing the expediency of working the society on a self-supporting and sound basis, and to provide funds for future importations, the: Council decided to sell birds among the members, when they had sufficiently recovered the effects 'of the voyage, Two pairs of each kind have been retained in the aviaries, and a few released to mate with those which had already made their escape in the gardens, which will, it is hoped, afford a good stock for the immediate vicinity of the town.

"Among the many useful introductions during the past year, the most valuable may be considered those of the Angora and Cashmere goats, due to the liberality of the Victorian society.

"Besides a large valuable collection of seeds from Australia, Tasmania, America, &c., the society have made efforts to introduce the Arundo arenarius, or Sea Bent, which from its property of fixing shifting sands, raising the ground at the average of nine inches annually, and converting sandy and stony wastes into luxuriant sheep pastures is bo very useful. These efforts have proved successful, and the introduction will prove very valuable to a country where there are so many silt-carrying rivers which cause so much devastation, and the sea-bent will form an effectual and inexpensive barrier in restraining both rivers and the sea within their proper bounds. Arrangements have been made for obtaining a large additional supply of this valuable grass, the introduction of which is due to Mr C. Davie.

"Although a quantity of young pheasants were reared in the gardens up to a certain age, all were destroyed by cats, notwithstanding that a large quantity of the latter have been destroyed about the gardens. The council would take this opportunity of impressing upon the public the great importance of reducing the number of wild cats, as their number proves the most serious difficulty in preserving the many useful specimens of native birds. "The success which has attended the exertions of Mr Robinson who has, during the past year, expended large sums in acclimatization is a pleasing fact. Large numbers of pheasants have been reared. While the partridges have increased to such an extent as to entitle him to the credit of being the most successful acclimatiser of these useful birds not only into the province but into'the colony. " EVery encouragement had been given to the introduction of the Sun-flower, by the distribution of large quantities of seed. The plant has been found very useful as food for poultry. " The black swans belonging to the society have increased in a very satisfactory manner, but have in many instances forsaken the Avon where their services, it was hoped, would keep down the watercress, some having found their way over to the West Coast, some into the Marlborough province, and some to Ocago.

"The white swans have made several attempts at incubation by building a nest, but have as yet been unproductive. " Although the principal efforts of the society have been directed to the introduction of really useful acquisitions, those of an interesting and ornamental character have not been neglected as indirectly aiding to promote more important objects. "Collections of native seeds as well as plants have still continued to be used as a medium of exchange with other countries, and valuable returns have in many instances been received of both seeds and plants, a large quantity of the former being now ready for distribution amongst members. "In addition to the large list of contributions to the society the council record with satisfaction the lively interest evinced and important aid rendered by masters of vessels, among whom are particularly noticeable Captain White, of the Blue Jacket; Captain Rose, of the Mermaid; Captain Thomson, of the Christina; and Captain Kidney, of the Albion. The society is also indebted to Messrs Miles and Co. for many acts of liberality. "In conclusion, the Council expresses a hope that the numerous members who have left this province during the past year will still continue their exertions, and co-operate with the members here in furthering the objects of the society, and at the same time feel confident that the society only requires to be more known to be better appreciated and more liberally supported." The report was adopted.

The next business before the meeting was the election of officers for the ensuing year. The following were elected President, Mr R. Wilkin; Vice-presidents, Dr Haast, Messrs McFarlan, Potts, J. C. Wilson, and J. R. Hill; Council, Messrs Fereday, Oakden, E. C. J. Stevens, Packe, Hislop, G.L. Lee, Barker, Speecblv, Prins, R. 11. Rhodes, Robinson, Mu'rny-Aynsley, Davie, Studholme, and Hawkes; Treasurer, MrG. Gould; Secretary and Curator, Mr-A. M. Johnson.

After a unanimous vote of thanks to the chairman the meeting broke up.

The usual monthly meeting of the council of this association was held on May 31, in the reading-room of the Mechanics' Institute. Mr Murray-Aynsley occupied the chair. Present:—Messrs Stevens, Davie,Speedily, Johnson, and Studholme. The minutes of tho previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The Seoretahy reported that the following persons liavo become members of the association ; viz.:—Messrs E, 11. Banks. J. Stemson. J. S. Williams, J. Greunaway, T. Searell, B. Moorhouse, 11. W. Thurmott, D. Graham, W. Hislop, It. W. D'Oyly, P. B. Luxmore, J. Page, H. Russell, and Mrs W. Anderson, Mrs M. Cartlicw, and Miss G. Carthew j that J. J. Oakden, Ksq., had become a life member; and the following contributions lmd been received:—From Mr Hislop, seed of theoehra, from South Amcricn, a valuablo fattening plant for cattle, _ and growing ten feet in a single season ; a friend, a Tasmaninn devil; Captain Thompson, two dasyures, which have escaped at one of the hotels at Lyttelton ; Messrs. J, and T.Fisher, a paradise duck and two gulls; Mrs Deans, sued of the Scotch heath and acorns.

Letters were read from tlio following persons : From Her Majesty's Consul at Boston, enclosing seeds of the Wellingtonia gignnlea-, Mrs M. C. Bridges, of San Francisco, enclosing a collection of seeds, and asking in return for seeds of the Norfolk Island Pine.; the Hon. <T. Hall, enclosing some seeds of valuable native grasses from Mackenzie country i Captain Thompson, enclosing a list of animals brought out by him for sale. They areas followsA wombat,or bear, price, £2 2s; kangaroos, £2 each; a wallaby,

£1; a native cat, £110s; a'pair of opposums, £3 ; a pair of pigeons, £2 • a cage, 4s. The Curator reported that he had received «218s 9d, for the exhibition of these animals; and it became a question whether any of them should be purchased by the society. Eventually the council decided to purchase the wombat and the pigeons.

From Mr It. 11. Drew, of England, reporting the safo arrival of a falcon entrusted to his care, for the Zoological Society, and asking for Bome roots of tho porcupine grass, to be forwarded to him.

From the Secretary of the Association, to tho Secretary of Public Works, relating to £l5O, being the balance of the Government grant to the society. Mr Hall's letter to the secretary of the society is as follows : "Wellington, May 13, 1867.—1 enclose some seeds of valuablo native grasses from the Mackenzie country, which you may probably be glad to try in the society's grounds. It would perhaps be well to postpone sowing them until the season is more advanced, The ground Bhould be made very fine and dean, and the seed should be covered very thinly with soil. It should, if possible, be sheltered from north-west winds, and be sown in mojst weather. I shall be glad to hear that you succeed in raising this grass, as it will give the public a convenient opportunity of seeing what can be done by the cultivation of our best native grasses." The following balance sheet, from Ist May, 1866, to 30th April, 1867, which ought to have bedn presented at the annual meeting, was laid on the table Db. £ s, d. Balance brought forward from May 1,1806 107 13 1 Subscriptions received ... ... 293 14 6 Received from the Government ... 160 0 0 Admission to see incubator hatching eggs, boat-hire, sale of rabbits, and sundries 15 10 6 Sale of birds ... ... ... 102 8 0 Sale of photographs, presonted by Mr Heslop ... 018 0 £670 4 0 Cb. Materials for erecting aviaries and enclosures, &c,, and cost of two artesian wells ... ... 108 18 1 labour in erecting aviaries and enclosures, &c., and assistance in garden ... ... ... 117 15 3 Printing reports 17 10 0 Advertising, postage, and stationery 18 8 4 Salary of curator and secretary ... 100 0 0 Freightage on incubator, alterations to shed, and expenses of working 2113 7 Bent of rooms 5 0 0 Amount as voted to Captain Stevens, for expenses incurred by him in bringing out birds ... ... 15 0 0 Purchase of birds.,, ... ... 32 0 0 Sundries, including carriage expenses and fond of birds and animals, both received and forwarded for oxebanges ... ... 62 6 8 Balance in bank... ... ... 168 13 1 £670 4 0

A discussion arose on the feasibility of raising trout in the ponds of the association; but the question was allowed to drop, as it did not appear probable that the experiment would be attended with success.

In reference to the Secretary's letter to the Secretary for Public Works, Mr Davie explained that the money voted to the society and the domain boards was voted in one sum, and the money in question had been drawn and spent by the domain board ; but he considered something was due from the association to the domain board for use of portions of the domain and repairs, The year before last the sum on the estimates was £IOOO, for both societies; and last year the domain board had drawn £2OO in anticipation of another grant of £IOOO, which the auditor had placed to the debit, of the association.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/LT18670604.2.28

Bibliographic details

ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXVII, Issue 2013, 4 June 1867

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ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY. Lyttelton Times, Volume XXVII, Issue 2013, 4 June 1867

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