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Photo: Jan van de Kam Griendtsveen

Photo: Jan van de Kam Griendtsveen

About 40 Bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica) arrived on the Avon-Heathcote Estuary yesterday afternoon, to be followed today and over the next few weeks by up to 2000 more. These join a flock of about 190 juvenile birds that had stayed on the estuary over winter.

Christchurch City Council ranger Andrew Crossland confirmed 40 godwits at the estuary this morning. “More are likely to arrive today, with ongoing arrivals through the rest of September and into October,” says Crossland. The ChristChurch Cathedral bells will be rung at midday tomorrow (Wednesday 16 September) to welcome the birds to their wintering home.

full media realease on Scoop:

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New Zealand albatross making massive flights – New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz
https://i0.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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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Eagle’s Complete Trees and Shrubs of New
Zealand, a book that took author and painter, Audrey Eagle
more than 50 years to complete, is the winner of the 2007
Montana Medal for non fiction.

The two-volume work
contains more than 800 hand painted plates; images of every
single New Zealand tree and shrub, some of which are now
extinct. more

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