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Archive for the ‘Wetlands’ Category

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 .

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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

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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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Auckland City Council has purchased land in Onehunga containing a unique volcanic crater as part of its ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the city’s volcanic landscape.

The council intends that the two properties in Onehunga at 36 Grotto Street and 29 Heretaunga Avenue become a public reserve.

more

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Greater Wellington – Rural living field day


20 August 2007

Greater Wellington Regional Council, AgResearch and Wellington City Council are hosting a rural living field day in Ohariu Valley for anyone interested in developing their rural lifestyle block.

Learn about landscape design, including what to plant, where and why and you can also take home a free native plant. Find out about the biodiversity-policy project, water quality testing and weed and pest control. An agricultural vet will be on site to answer any questions and there will be fencing displays. Competitions will be held throughout the day with face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids.

The event is free and will be held, wet or fine, on:

Date Saturday 8 September
Time 10.00am – 4.00pm
Venue Craig Shepherd and Julie Sammut’s property
583 Ohariu Valley Road
Ohariu Valley, Wellington

The biodiversity-policy project has been established in the Wellington region by Greater Wellington, Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, the University of Waikato and AgResearch. The Foundation of Research, Science and Technology is assisting with part of the funding. Over the next two years the project team is working with the people of the Ohariu and Makara catchments to provide information about water quality in the streams, how landowner activities are likely to be affecting water quality, bush regeneration and how to improve life in the catchment for the community and biodiversity.

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Greater Wellington – A fish ladder for Hull’s Creek

Giant Kokopu (Galaxias argenteus) Photograph by R.M. McDowall

Inanga - Galaxias masculatus

inanga (Galaxias maculatus)

The Silverstream care group is a busy one. For over five years now it’s been working hard to restore the stream, create a native bird corridor, reduce erosion and create a walkway linking Silverstream to the Hutt River trail.

Since 2003 a total of 6,532 trees have been planted, willows removed, weeds controlled, and plans drawn up to construct a fish ladder, also called a fish pass. All this work is not for the faint-hearted – to begin with you need volunteers, funding and lots of planning.

Greater Wellington’s Team Leader Policy Development Murray McLea says one of the important things we know is the survival of many of our native fish depends on their migration between the sea and freshwater. “Creating a fish ladder over a weir will help native fish like the inanga (whitebait) and the giant kokopu jump the barrier. Weather permitting we hope to complete the fish ladder by late September.”

Barry Wards, convenor of the Silverstream care group says the Hull’s Creek Open Day on Saturday 11 August is celebrating the work, vision and enthusiasm of the group and the wider community. “Without funding from the Ministry for the Environment and Take Care funding from Greater Wellington the group would not have been able to restore Hulls Creek to what it is today.”

“We would like to welcome existing members and members of the public to the Open Day. The day will start with morning tea at 9.30 am, and include a talk by Dr Mike Joy, guided tours and unveiling of a sign. The day’s activities will finish at approximately 12.30 pm.”

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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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