The Nature Collection

NZ ON SCREEN

To celebrate NZ’s unique natural taonga, Peter Hayden has curated a highlights collection from three decades of NHNZ productions. Aotearoa’s landforms and its magnificent menagerie of natural oddities – birds, insects, trees like nowhere else on the planet – are showcased in 15 award-winning titles. From Discovery Channel and David Bellamy, to Wild South and Our World classics.

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NZ

Climate change increases value of native plant

Monday, 21 December 2009, 11:12 am
Press Release: NZ Plant Conservation Network

Climate change increases value of Kiwi native plant

The golden sand sedge – pingao – has won the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network’s 2009 favourite plant poll, and could be a valuable defence against climate change effects.

The pingao topped more than 100 species in the annual poll. Network President Philippa Crisp said that pingao would become increasingly important in combating the effects of climate change, particularly as an increasing number of coastal homes came under threat

“If the global plan to fight climate change stalls and sea level rises occur, pingao will become even more important to New Zealanders because it plays an important role in stabilising sand dunes and creating a beach contour that is not so vulnerable to storm events and sea level rises,” Dr Crisp said. “Pingao may be our only sustainable hope for coastal protection”.

full media release on scoop.co.nz

Top predator makes spectacular return to capitalHutt Vally

Scoop: Top predator makes spectacular return to capital
Fledgling NZ Falcon. Photo by Tom Lynch, ZEALANDIA/Karori Sanctuary Trust.
Photo by Tom Lynch, ZEALANDIA/Karori Sanctuary Trust.
Click to enlarge

Press Release: Zealandia

New Zealand’s top predator makes spectacular return to the capital

Conservation staff at the groundbreaking ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary in Wellington believe they have found the first New Zealand falcons to have hatched in the city since the species disappeared as a breeding population in the Seventies.

“It’s an extremely significant discovery,” said ZEALANDIA conservation manager Raewyn Empson

“Although there are quite a few breeding pairs in the Hutt Vally and Eastbourne, they haven’t bred in Wellington city for decades! And they are hanging around right next to the main track, so it really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these powerful predators up close and in their element”

This time last year, ZEALANDIA staff found the capital’s first ever recorded nest, very close to where this year’s fledgings are hanging out. Unfortunately, the nest had been abandoned before any eggs were laid. A second nest, this time with eggs in it, was found in July – incredibly early for falcons – but that also failed.

full media realease on scoop.co.nz

Match-making on Mana Island

A blind date with one of six eligible bachelors awaits a young female takahe when she is released onto Mana Island today. The seven-month-old bird, named Moa, will be paired with a single male on the island in the hope that they’ll eventually breed.

Moa became sick early last week and was airlifted from her home at the Burwood takahe recovery unit near Te Anau to Massey’s wildlife ward. Lecturer in avian and wildlife health Kerri Morgan says she was near death’s door.

“She arrived exhibiting severe neurological symptoms and was very underweight. Tests showed a high level of the parasite coccidia in her system. We treated her for that and she’s recovered quickly.”

Ms Morgan says takahe don’t usually respond well to hospital treatment.

“They lose weight because they get stressed easily, but we gave Moa the penthouse suite in the ward and brought in native grasses for her to feed on, which she obviously appreciated.”

Department of Conservation staff will take Moa to Mana Island this morning, where she’ll be kept in isolation with her new mate.

The Department’s ranger on the island Sue Caldwell says the scientific reserve, off the coast of Porirua, is short of female takahe.

“It makes sense to bring her here. We’ll try and pair her with one of the six single males on the island. Males who aren’t paired cause trouble in the pre-breeding season that begins in late August, so hopefully we can get a fairytale ending here.”

Massey University – article

Birds moved to new pest free home

Birds moved to new pest free home | NATIONAL | NEWS | tvnz.co.nz

Kaharuai or South Island Robin

Thirty threatened Kakaruai birds have been successfully transferred to New Zealand’s newest sanctuary.

Secretary Island, a 8,000 hectare island at the western end of Doubtful Sound in the Fiordland National Park, will be the new home to the Kaharuai, or South Island Robin.

“It’s fantastic, it’s been a big achievement getting to this point,” says Murray Willians from the Department of Conservation.

They say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but for DOC it’s the birds in the bush that are important.

“There’s no rodents or possums here, and essentially no stoats and very few deer now too, so it’s essentially clear of introduced animals that cause harm to NZ’s native biodiversity,” says Willians.

The birds were transferred from Breaksea Island following a three year project to rid the island of predators.

Breaksea was the forerunner of the country’s island restoration programme and boasts a population of thousands of Kakaruai, and other threatened species.

Offshore islands play a key role in the battle against introduced pests. Birds like the Saddleback would have been extinct without them.

There used to be thousands of South Island Robins on Secretary Island before Stoats were introduced about a hundred years ago. Now there are none, and DOC is hoping this population of birds brought here, will flourish.

“Seeing and hearing that birdsong and thinking of what it used to be like in the South Island beech forests is quite incredible and quite different to what we see now on the mainland anywhere really,” says Willans.

“These conservation programmes are very important. It’s very important we retain the character of the area,” says John Davies from the Fiordland Conservation Trust.

The programmes will ensure the birds keep singing for generations to come.

original story

Endangered Species Highlighted in Tourism Report

Scoop: Endangered Species Highlighted in Tourism Report
A dead Hector's  dolphin on a NZ beach. © Steve Dawson
Click to enlarge

New Zealand has received the worst possible ranking, last amongst 130 countries, for its protection of threatened species, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report (T&TCR)

Care for the Wild International chief executive, Dr Barbara Maas, who is currently in New Zealand, says, “The T&TCR provides a timely wake-up call for New Zealand as the Government considers what protection will be afforded to the endangered Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins.”

The comprehensive T&TCR report ranks nations’ international competitiveness as a tourism destination. This year New Zealand dropped five places overall to 19th out of 130 countries as the report took a greater focus on environmental sustainability to reflect the increasing importance visitors place on countries’ environmental performance. Last year New Zealand ranked 14th, just behind Australia but in this year’s report, Australia was ranked fourth while New Zealand’s ranking fell five places.

“New Zealanders rightly take great pride in their country’s ‘clean &green’ credentials. However, despite making progress in some areas, this report shows that when it comes to caring for native wildlife, this perception is simply not based on reality.”

full story on scoop

Iconic weta being relocated into central Christchurch

TV3 > News > Weather/Environment News > Story > Iconic weta being relocated into central Christchurch

They are not the prettiest in the insect kingdom but weta are an iconic New Zealand species – and they are going places.

Tree weta are being collected on Banks Pensinsula as part of a project to move them back into the city.

Eleven weta are city-bound – being relocated in portable wooden houses to Riccarton Bush, a six hectare block of kahikatea floodplain forest, surrounded by a predator-proof fence in the heart of Christchurch.

John Moore: ”This is the first translocation we’ve had into the bush, this is the first time we’ve reintroduced something back in here, and it is quite exciting for us.”

Researchers say the urban bush will form a natural laboratory and they have plans to add to the eco-system.

“We’re beginning with invertebrates, we’re going to monitor their welfare over the next few years and then move on to the next stage – which is probably to introduce lizards and eventually birds back into the forest.”

full story

link to video

$35m plan to rid island of rats and feral cats

$35m plan to rid island of rats and feral cats – 11 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand and International environment and global warming news
Peter Jean Caley

oil painting of South island Tomtit by Peter Jean Caley

Stewart Island interests are considering an ambitious $35 million proposal to eradicate rats, wild cats and possums from the island.

The proposal has initial support from parts of the community but is likely to be vehemently opposed by deer hunters. It includes a predator fence around the settlement of Oban and plans for widespread aerial poison drops.

Described as New Zealand’s biggest conservation project, it aims to “make Stewart Island the Galapagos of the South”.

Copies of the proposal have been given to community groups and key “stakeholders” before a public meeting on April 3.

The “draft feasibility study” has been prepared by the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust, with support from the Department of Conservation and the Tindall Foundation.

Proposed “border control” measures could include teams of rodent-checking dogs monitoring departures from Bluff and Invercargill and arrivals on the island.

It is hoped bird species such as kakapo, saddleback, mohua, kokako and teal may eventually be reintroduced to Stewart Island.

full story

update: tv3 video of the same story

Zoos leap into action to help save frogs

Scoop: Zoos leap into action to help save frogs

Image by  Paddy Ryan

Auckland Zoo is inviting Kiwis to join it in leaping into the global Amphibian Ark Year of the Frog campaign, which will be helping to save the four endangered New Zealand native frog species.

Tonight’s Wild Bean Cafe ZooMusic Katchafire concert will help raise funds for in-the-field testing for amphibian chytrid fungus in Hochstetter’s frogs. It marks the first of a number of events and activities the zoo will run through to March 2009 to generate awareness of and support for frog conservation.

After thriving for over 360 million years, a third of the world’s 6300 amphibian species are now threatened with extinction. Despite new species being discovered, scientists say extinctions are exceeding discoveries.

Topping the list as the most evolutionarily distinct and critically endangered amphibian on the planet is New Zealand’s own native Archey’s frog – for which Auckland Zoo has a dedicated breeding and research facility. New Zealand’s other three frog species – Hamilton’s, Maud Island, and Hochstetter’s all fall within the top 100 most threatened amphibians These, and thousands of other amphibians, are in crisis due to the deadly disease amphibian chytrid fungus (not treatable in the wild) as well as habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, introduced species, and climate change.

full media release on scoop

Archey’s frog with froglets , short video .

New reserve opens at Catlins

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.
.
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.

Falcons find an unlikely friend in the mohua

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.

full story

Kiwi sanctuary helping against extinction

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

Vodafone gets in behind the Yellow-eyed Penguins

Scoop: Vodafone gets in behind the Yellow-eyed Penguins

Vodafone and Run The Red are excited to announce Donatelive! a new service which is the first of its kind in New Zealand. The service enables customers with Vodafone live! capable handsets to donate to the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.

Users can donate $3, $5 or $9 and in return will receive multimedia content downloaded directly to their phone. Content includes Yellow-eyed penguin ringtones, screensavers and videos. Vodafone will pass on 100% of the donation to the charity.

Customers can also see information on Vodafone live! about the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and the work they are doing to save one of our national treasures.

This new initiative is launching to the public on October 11 in conjunction with the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust’s 20th Anniversary. The service has been created by the 2007 Graduates as part of the Vodafone Graduate Programme and will be available for an initial three month period. full press release

New Zealand albatross making massive flights

New Zealand albatross making massive flights – New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz
https://i2.wp.com/www.greglasley.net/Images/Royal-Albatross-0021.jpg

Three New Zealand birds are enjoying their big OE and are not expected back for years.

The three northern royal albatross are being monitored as part of a Massey University PhD student’s research into their behaviour.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter said a chick he named Toroa at a special ceremony earlier this year was now 550km off the coast of New Zealand and heading east into the Pacific Ocean.

Toroa and the other two young albatross were fitted with lightweight transmitters which track their position by satellite every six hours.

PhD student Bindi Thomas would look into the first year of the birds’ lives – they are expected to spend up to seven years at sea.

“This research will give us important information on what is one of the most solitary and amazing journeys in the animal kingdom,” Mr Carter said.

“Hopefully, all three young birds will eventually return to Taiaroa Head after their years of wandering and successfully raise their own chicks.”

Toroa flew up the coast of New Zealand as far as Oamaru before heading east into the Pacific. Toroa, who fledged late last month, got a head start on the other two birds and has flown 700km so far.

Long Gully control programme to protect native birds and bush

Greater Wellington – Long Gully control programme to protect native birds and bush
Long Gully Map
Native birds and bush in Long Gully, near the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, will benefit from a possum and rat control operation which begins on Monday 8 October 2007. The operation is part of an ongoing programme to keep possum and rat numbers at low levels.

Long Gully is a strip of bush that includes some private land owners and Wellington Natural Heritage Trust land. It is situated between the suburbs of Karori and Brooklyn and is adjacent to the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. Control will be carried out in areas of bush and scrub.

“The programme will be of huge benefit to the native species in the area, as well as to neighbouring properties, creating a safe place for native birds to breed and enabling native trees to regenerate,” says Greater Wellington biosecurity officer Glen Falconer. here for full story

DOC goes digital intoducing- “meet the locals” tvnz6

Some of the country’s shyest, weirdest and rarest inhabitants have stepped into the limelight on TVNZ’s new digital

channel, TVNZ 6.

Meet the Locals is a new series of four-minute shows featuring everything from electric fishing for our enigmatic native fish, to getting up close and personal with New Zealand’s mysterious short-tailed bats.

The series has emerged from a partnership between the Department of Conservation and TVNZ 6. Meet the Locals will be screened in the ‘Family’ time slot on TVNZ 6 (4pm-8.30pm) and will also be available on the DOC website and beyond.

“This initiative is tremendous for DOC – allowing us to reach new audiences and grow awareness of just how easy it is to get into the wilds of New Zealand and see what millions of people travel here every year to experience,” said Director-General, Al Morrison.

“Meet the Locals is designed to give New Zealand audiences a taste of the surprising and inspiring stories of their natural heritage and TVNZ is proud to present this special series for viewers of TVNZ 6, the first of our new digital channels”, said TVNZ Commissioner Philippa Mossman.

“It is filmed throughout New Zealand, and showcases every aspect of conservation in New Zealand, including native wildlife, pest control, recreation opportunities and our cultural and historic heritage.”

Hosted by DOC’s Nicola Vallance, who regularly features on TV One’s Good Morning, Meet the Locals will showcase “kiwi natives, local plants, local animals and the humans who love to look after them”. The series features DOC staff, businesses, communities and individuals who are all involved in looking after our wildlife and wild places.

doc . meet the locals videos

DOC goes digital – introducing “Meet the Locals” on TVNZ 6: Media release

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

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

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/