A dedicated team of volunteers contribute an impressive 13,000 hours of work each year to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, just north of Dunedin. “Our volunteers help with every single thing we do,” says Orokonui’s general manager, Chris Baillie. “They have a very strong sense of community ownership of … [Read more...] about Volunteers are vital at Orokonui
The technology associated with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is getting smart and sophisticated. These intriguing little machines are more than just Christmas toys. High-end models are proving their worth in a whole variety of ways including detecting water deficiencies in agricultural crops and … [Read more...] about Tools for a predator-free future
A while back the Squawk Squad team were thinking about how they could get people more interested in birds in the lead-up to the December launch of their Squawk Squad app. Conservation Week in October seemed like an ideal opportunity just waiting to be grabbed. “We were thinking about how we … [Read more...] about App launch tops successful year for Squawk Squad
When mammal predators first arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand, our native species didn’t know what had hit them and their naiveté led to some rapid extinctions. Have our surviving species ‘wised up’ to mammal threats in the last century or so? If so, what happens when birds are moved to predator free … [Read more...] about Thesis explores anti-predator adaptive behaviour
Tracking tunnels, chew cards and WaxTags© are commonly used to detect predator presence and monitor abundance, but in recent years there’s been a new tool in the conservation kit – the remote camera. Evaluations of its use are showing that it is a tool with a lot of promise and some significant … [Read more...] about Detecting predators in the city – what works best?
Field co-ordinator, John Caygill reckons it’s “a bit of a scramble” checking the traplines on the Rainy Creek Project, “And on some lines there’s a lot of scramble!” he says. Rainy Creek is situated just east of Reefton, on the South Island’s West Coast. John himself lives in Greymouth, an … [Read more...] about Bush savvy volunteers have ‘a bit of a scramble’
How much trapping does it take to make a difference? Sometimes even a small difference can make all the difference to a species that is at a borderline point for sustaining its population. In a recent edition of the New Zealand Ornithological Society’s journal Notornis, DOC scientists Jane … [Read more...] about Takahe protection benefits the neighbours
In Central Otago the locals are becoming increasingly proud of their giant lizards. “Reptiles are our megafauna,” says Grant Norbury, a Landcare Research scientist based in Alexandra and chair of the Central Otago Ecological Trust, which created a small fenced sanctuary and released the first … [Read more...] about Sanctuary raises profile of endemic lizards
When possums live in an urban landscape, their fondness for fruit, flowers and foliage quickly makes then unpopular with gardeners. They can be noisy on the roof at night too. But the impact they’re having on local birdlife may not be quite so obvious. Well fed on apples and roses, urban possums … [Read more...] about Urban possums – it’s not just about the roses
As kaka become a more familiar part of everyday suburban lives in some parts of New Zealand, the city-living parrots are also attracting the attention of researchers interested in the parrot/urban mix. How well are urban kaka learning to adapt to city life and what might be some city threats that … [Read more...] about Urban kaka – how are they adapting to city life?