Native plants are a good way to attract native birds to your garden. No matter how small, you can always make your backyard more attractive to native birdlife by providing food, water, shelter, and nesting places/materials. Puriri tree. Photo credit: Jon Sullivan You can break down the … [Read more...] about If our native birds were gardeners, what would they plant?
Researchers have recently been studying the social life of our native skinks – and yes, skinks really do have a social network. Who would have thought it? Otago skinks (Oligosoma otagense) living in a large enclosure at Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary were the subjects of this unusual study of skink … [Read more...] about A glimpse of the social life of Otago skinks
Pāteke/brown teal are mainly nocturnal, small dabbling ducks found only in New Zealand. They once inhabited a wide range of habitats including wet forests, swamps, slow-flowing streams, lakes and estuaries and in pre-human times may have been the most wide-spread and abundant of our waterfowl. Even … [Read more...] about Researchers evaluate what pāteke need for successful reintroduction
Annual bird counts show that banded dotterels have been declining on our braided rivers for many years. But there’s good news amongst the bad. A recently published analysis of longterm population trends, using data from 1962 to 2018, reveals just how big that decline has been – and how one riverbed … [Read more...] about Longterm banded dotterel study shows predator control benefits
Small, slow-moving in cold weather and with limited defenses other than camouflage and hiding, our skinks and geckos are vulnerable to predators – but efforts to relocate some of them to sanctuaries haven’t always been successful. Researchers have been refining their methods, however, and a recent … [Read more...] about New home for barking geckos in successful penned release
Fenced sanctuaries don’t come cheap – but they do offer a way to create areas of rich, predator free habitat for vulnerable species. But what about the habitat outside the fence? Most research to date has looked at ‘inside the fence’ habitat and bird populations, but good habitat beyond the … [Read more...] about What’s outside the fence matters too
Between 2010 and 2016, the community group Friends of Flora Inc., in partnership with the Department of Conservation, translocated 44 roroa (great spotted kiwi, Apteryx haastii) to the Flora Stream area in Kahurangi National Park. But that was just the beginning of the project. Each kiwi was fitted … [Read more...] about Volunteers monitor kiwi dispersal for 8 years
Ocean plastic is a worldwide problem – and its impacting wildlife here in New Zealand too. A recent study checked out how much plastic is turning up in gannet nests at a Hauraki Gulf gannetry and found an alarming 86% of nests had at least some plastic included in their construction! Australasian … [Read more...] about Plastic nest material is potential threat to gannets
Weka can be engaging and entertaining, but their opportunistic appetite for other birds’ eggs and chicks can cop them some controversy. They’re not always welcome at ecosanctuaries, for example, even though their own numbers are threatened. Parent weka feeding chick, Brook Sanctuary, Nelson. … [Read more...] about Are weka ‘good predators’?
Otago University zoologists Anna Aichele, Philip Seddon and Yolanda van Heezik have been measuring the sugar intake of kākā at Orokonui Eco-sanctuary just north of Dunedin where sugar water feeders regularly entice birds down from the trees to the delight of visitors. It’s a great way to bring the … [Read more...] about Sugar intake of kākā measured at ecosanctuary feeders