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Archive for November, 2007

TV3 > Video – Browse All > Weather/Environment Video

The country’s newest public reserve has opened on the Catlins coast, to provide a safe haven for the endangered Yellow-eyed penguin.

The Department of Conservation has teamed up with a community trust to create a long strip of protected coastline, about two hours south of Dunedin.
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This remote area on the Catlins coast is one of the main habitats of the Yellow-eyed penguin.

And now DOC – together with the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust – have bought 50 hectares of coastal farmland, effectively creating a 12 kilometre reserve along the Southern Ocean.

New Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick planted a Rata tree to celebrate the occasion.

It is expected to be the first of many planted here as part of a reforestation project, to help the penguins feel more at home.

“Until we put vegetation around these sorts of coastal margins that encourages them to come in and breed, we’re at peril of losing more and more of them,” Chadwick says.

This 12 kilometre stretch of coastline is home to around 50 breeding pairs, that’s 10percent of the Yellow-eyed penguin population in the South Island.

The penguins have coped relatively well in the isolated area, but plans to add fences and undertake predator control work will help improve their chances or survival.

Sea birds could also be reintroduced into the country’s newest public reserve, which DOC describes as a good investment for generations of New Zealanders.

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NZ falcon

It is an unlikely partnership – the predatory New Zealand falcon and the endangered mohua – but they are thriving side by side.

The falcon, a species in gradual decline, and the mohua (yellowhead) are benefiting from a predator control programme in the Catlins River Walk area of the Catlins Forest Park in Southland.

It has not been an easy road for either species, something this reporter and photographer can appreciate after a trek to their home territory last week. Accompanied by Department of Conservation ranger Graeme Loh, the promised 1km walk turned into a four-hour hike – and there were no birds to be found.

However, just as we began the walk home, we heard a falcon’s angry chatter – protesting at strangers in its territory – and experienced its dive bombing skills first-hand.

Mr Loh said the increase in falcons in the area seemed to be the by-product of increased predator control.

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TV3 > News > Weather/Environment News > Story > Kiwi sanctuary helping against extinction

They have been nothing more than a distant memory in the Auckland region for more than half a century, but now, kiwis are set to make a return.

Forty of the birds have been transported to the Tawharanui sanctuary from an outlying island.

When a kiwi is lifted from a box the sound is always the same.

Not from the bird, but from people seeing one close up for the first time – ‘Oooh’ and ‘ahhhhh!’

But our national bird is still in great danger of disappearing forever.

One of the biggest threats has always been dogs.

Back in the 1980s a single dog killed 400 kiwis in Northland.

‘Just one dog, so they can be enormously destructive and adult kiwi just don’t have any defence against dogs,’ says Tim Lovegrove, a National Heritage scientist

full story

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