Gentle giants return to the mainland

They’re big, they’re scary, and they’re coming back to the city!

On Sunday 11 February, volunteers, trustees, iwi representatives and invited dignitaries will watch as up to 100 Cook Strait giant weta (Deinacrida rugosa) are released back into the wild at Wellington’s award-winning Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. This will be the first attempt to re-establish this species on the mainland since they became extinct here over a century ago.

At around 70mm long, and weighing up to 27g, these mouse-sized insects are one of the world’s heaviest insects and, for many, the stuff of nightmares. But appearances can be deceiving. Deinacrida rugosa are gentle giants – herbivores far less ferocious than the smaller tree weta we find in our garages, gardens and gumboots! more

500th Royal Albatross chick at Taiaroa Head named

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today formally named the 500th Royal Albatross chick to hatch at Taiaroa Head/ Pukerua on the Otago Peninsula, the only mainland breeding colony of albatross in the Southern Hemisphere.

The chick’s arrival was celebrated at a special event at the colony today, marking some 70 years of work by conservationists. more from scoop