It has been estimated that between 25,000 and 45,000 people belong to community-based environmental groups in New Zealand. That’s a lot of volunteer work and, as the estimate was made in 2011, numbers since then are likely to have grown. There’s also a pretty wide range of uncertainty in those … [Read more...] about Survey investigates huge volunteer contribution
When there’s a mouse in your pantry you notice – but in the wider environment they’re common and inconspicuous. It’s difficult to know what impact mice have in a forest or wetland environment because mice are overshadowed by – and food for – their bigger predator rivals, including rats, stoats and … [Read more...] about Mice – should we be worried?
The kokako are back and breeding successfully in Northland’s Puketi Forest, but it’s been a long battle to get them there – a battle fought by the Puketi Forest Trust in partnership with Iwi, the local community and the Department of Conservation, helped out by strong sponsorship support from … [Read more...] about Puketi Forest Trust’s battle for kokako leads to breeding success
Blue ducks (whio) live in both the North and South Island – they’re isolated by distance, but how isolated are they genetically? Physically there are visual differences – the South Island whio is larger, for example. But just how deep do those differences go? Genetic difference matters when … [Read more...] about Blue ducks – how different is ‘different’?
‘When children’s author, Jon Tucker, was a teenager growing up in Nelson, he married the girl next door and they began to build a boat together; not just a dinghy or small sailboat, but an “old-fashioned, romantic” traditional ketch that they named ‘New Zealand Maid’. Jon and Babs later … [Read more...] about Children’s author goes ‘predator free’ in latest adventure novel
Ship rats are known to be good and climbing trees – but what are they like at climbing mountains? If our climate gets warmer, might rats go to new heights in the search for new territory and food? Scientists Jennifer Christie and Graeme Elliott from DOC’s Christchurch office, along with Peter … [Read more...] about Rats, elevation and implications of climate change
Monitoring cryptic animals is one of the big challenges of becoming predator free, according to Auckland-based Landcare Research scientist, Dr Al Glen. “Predators are cryptic,” he says, “and when they’re in low abundance, it’s very hard to detect the last few. Better monitoring is a … [Read more...] about Al Glen captures predator portraits on camera
Conservation genetics has implications for all sorts of conservation measures whether it be choosing the source birds for a translocation to a new sanctuary to ensure sufficient genetic diversity, ‘forensic’ type investigations to identify the source of a newly arrived predator on an island (where a … [Read more...] about Conservation geneticists want to build a bridge to DOC
WARNING: [stomach] contents may disturb sensitive readers. When Jamie McAulay opens his mail in the morning he often finds “a lovely, delightful, maggoty mess!” Jamie is a Masters student in the University of Otago’s Zoology Department and lately conservation volunteers and professional … [Read more...] about Stoat research is not for the squeamish
Breakthrough genetic technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving a predator-free future. But it’s important that we understand what the various technologies are now – as they’re being developed - not when they’re about to be implemented. We need to debate the issues and become as … [Read more...] about What’s the story with genetic pest management (GPM)?