Rare bats landing at Auckland Zoo

Scoop: Rare bats landing at Auckland Zoo

click on the Image by Peter Schouten for more on the short-tailed bat

The Department of Conservation (DOC), Auckland Zoo, and iwi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane o Wairarapa, are hopeful that the bats will successfully breed to assist the recovery plan for this genetically unique group. The Waiohine Valley population, discovered in the late 1990s, is the only known short-tailed bat population living in the southern North Island, and currently numbers just 200.

Aged between two and three years, the 12 zoo-bound bats have been part of the most ambitious conservation project ever undertaken anywhere in the world for native bats. During 2005 and 2006, this involved DOC taking pregnant females from the wild (Waiohine Valley) to the National Wildlife Centre at Pukaha Mount Bruce until they had given birth and weaned their pups. The females were then returned to Waiohine Valley, and the pups taken to Kapiti Island, held in captivity for several months, and then released on the island. full media release

New Zealands newest lake

click on the images for the tvnz video

The Department of Conservation says a major landslip has caused a new lake in the Haast Pass area of Mount Aspiring National Park.

You would say that this would make a very interesting study, to see and record what happens here ecologically , it would be nice to know if anyone intends to do this , if anyone has any knowledge of such a plan please send a email and let us know .

update 1 : a media release from DOC

update 2 : “concern that lake could swamp township” tv3 story and video 3 october

update  3 :  Water has begun flowing over the dam near Makarora  tv3 story and video 7 october

Frogs in Focus at Orana wildlife park

New Zealand Tourism News – press releases, product updates.



click on the image for some real new zealand frogs

New Zealand’s unique frogs are among the most endangered species in the world! They need all the help they can get so Orana Wildlife Park is partnering with Cadbury Freddo Frog to support and promote frog conservation.

“Frogs are very special animals. They breathe through their skin as well as lungs and are extremely sensitive to how clean their environment is meaning frogs are indicators of the quality of the air that we breathe. Sadly, frogs are in danger due to Chytrid Fungus, a fungal disease, and the Earth’s warming climate is thought to be one contributing factor to the increase of that disease. Frog conservation is therefore a very topical issue and the Freddo Roadshow is a unique way to get this message across” adds Atkinson-Renton.     full story

New homes lined up in bid to rescue rare kiwi

Dozens of rare West Coast kiwi may be moved away from their ancestral homes to islands in the Hauraki Gulf and Foveaux Strait in a desperate attempt to save the species from extinction.

The Department of Conservation says it has to create back-up populations, away from stoats, to avert extinction.

Although some Haast and Okarito Rowi kiwi chicks are already raised away from predators, they are returned to their home forest in South Westland when they are large enough to fight off stoats.

Under new proposals, DoC wants to move breeding pairs of Okarito birds to the sub-tropical Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, near Auckland, and up to 10 Haast birds to Rarotoka Island, in Foveaux Strait.

full story

New Zealanders asked to help Stop Dolphin Extinction

Scoop: NZers asked to help Stop Dolphin Extinction


click on image for a larger version

Stop Their Extinction launches today (Friday 21 September) with a national day of action, when teams of WWF volunteers and students from university environmental campaign network SANE (Students of Aotearoa Network for our Earth) will take to the streets in Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington asking New Zealanders to sign the Stop Their Extinction petition.

Marie Haley, Marine Coordinator for SANE said: “This is our opportunity to tell the government what we want for Hector’s and Maui’s. So, it’s in our hands – right now we all have a chance to stop our dolphins from becoming extinct, which is incredible. Would we as a nation say no to the protection of the kiwi or the kakapo ?

full press release

www.stoptheirextinction.org.nz

Rare kiwi thriving on Tiritiri Matangi

Rare kiwi thriving on Tiritiri Matangi: Media releases

Little spotted kiwi have more than doubled in number on their Hauraki Gulf island home in the last five years, according to the results of a recent Department of Conservation survey.

The population of kiwi on Tiritiri Matangi has grown to more than 60 (estimated at 60-80 birds) from about 30 birds in 2002.

DOC scientist Dr Hugh Robertson, who led the survey, said the population was growing strongly, and was as good as could be expected.

“They seem to grow faster on Tiritiri than on other islands due to the rich soils and lack of rats.”

Simon Fordham, chairman of the community group Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi and part of the survey team, said how valuable the experience had been.

“Working with such a unique bird was a real treat and a great opportunity to help with its recovery.” full media release

Rat stopped from getting to Tiritiri Matangi

Rat stopped from getting to Tiritiri Matangi: Media releases


A Norway rat found on a ferry due to sail to Tiritiri Matangi was stopped from getting to the island sanctuary due to quick action by the ferry operator.

“All we need is one pregnant rodent to come ashore on Tiritiri and we would have a major incident on our hands.”

“Endangered species on the island include birds like the saddleback, which was wiped out on other islands by rats. Tiritiri has become a sanctuary for many threatened species that could be put at risk if visitors to the island are not vigilant and pest aware.” full press release

Mainland — 18 Years of Supporting Penguins

Scoop: Mainland — 18 Years of Supporting Penguins

click on image for mainland

The Commitment:
Mainland has been a major sponsor of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust since 1989. The association has become far more than just another sponsorship arrangement and is thought to be one of the longest standing relationships between a corporate and a wildlife organisation anywhere in the world, making it very unique.

In addition to the huge financial contributions, Mainland has invested a substantial amount of resource into raising the profile of the Trust and the plight of the yellow-eyed penguin. Mainland devoted significant resource in television commercials featuring Roy – an icon synonymous with Mainland in the 80s and early 90s – and a yellow-eyed penguin, demonstrating Mainland’s further commitment to the cause. full media release

yellow-eyed penguin.org.nz/

New Zealand Ecological Society Annual Conference 2007

NZES Annual Conference 2007

Conference Logo

click on image for the link

The 2007 conference of the New Zealand Ecological Society is set for 18–23 November, in Christchurch. The venue will be the Central lecture block at the Ilam campus of the University of Canterbury.

The conference features a major symposium titled “Feathers to Fur: the ecological transformation of Aotearoa”. This is an update of 21 years of progress on the topics that make New Zealand unique, following on from the 1986 conference “Moas, Mammals and Climate” which was published in a special issue of New Zealand Journal of Ecology in 1989.

The conference logo symbolises this transformation with a Maori cave drawing of a “bird-man” from Frenchmans Gully (used by permission of Te Runanga o Waihao and Arowhenua and the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Trust).

There will also be several other symposia and the usual interesting range of contributed talks and posters.

bar-tailed godwits , To Alaska and back

A record-breaking godwit known as E7 is refuelling in the Firth of
Thames after having made it all the way to Alaska and back wearing a
surgically implanted satellite transmitter.

The female bird was
the first of 16 bar-tailed godwits tagged in February by ecologist Dr
Phil Battley, from Massey University, to return to New Zealand.

Data provided by the transmitter meant that Dr Battley could confirm her
route, with her entire migratory journey clocking in at close to 30,000
km, and the southern return leg at more than 11,500km.

full story

Discover the hidden world of Wellington’s wild orchids

Discover the hidden world of Wellington’s wild orchids: media releases

Pterostylis banksii (common greenhood), one of our most common orchids. Photo: Jeremy Rolfe/DOC.
Pterostylis banksii, one of our most
common orchids

Wellingtonians are being asked to keep their eyes peeled for their extraordinary, diverse and often cryptic native orchids when they venture into the outdoors.

Acknowledging the Wellington region as one of New Zealand’s “orchid hotspots”, the Department of Conservation has produced a field guide identifying 72 species of wild orchids in the lower North Island.

“We want to inspire people to head out and explore the region’s parks and reserves while searching for orchids that, once found, can be left for others to enjoy,” said Department of Conservation botanist John Sawyer, who co-authored the book with Peter de Lange, one of New Zealand’s leading plant conservation scientists; photographer and botanist Jeremy Rolfe, and national orchid expert Ian St George. full Media release

Native birds under threat. tv3 video

click on the image of john campbell  for direct link to tv3 video

In a few days it will be spring and the birds will be in full song.

But in some parts of the country it will be an extremely muted song.

In fact there are now areas known as ‘bird deserts’ where there are virtually no native birds.

We know these regions exist because birdwatchers have just spent five years in the field finding out how many birds there are, and where they live – information for the latest edition of the New Zealand Bird Atlas.

Richard Langston with a story on the plight of our birds.
link

Forest understory takes off

Whakatikei Restoration project

click on images for larger ( phone camera ) versions

Five finger of various variety , plus many of the broad leaf plants and smaller trees, have very much made a strong comeback, with not only seedlings quite thick on the bush floor in many places, but with many of the third season plants more than two meters tall and bearing flowers, fruit and seed.

this is quite in contrast to both how it was and still is on the other side of the river, this does show quite well that the river, acting as a barrier is working very well with almost no sign of any possum browse anywhere within the forest area currently being looked after .