What's On at Zealandia


 

Conservation

Predator Free Wellington - ZEALANDIA’s halo effect and what you can do to help

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It’s quiet…too quiet.  

When Captain Cook first anchored off New Zealand, the dawn chorus was described as “deafening”. Where did the birds go? Why aren’t there kōkako in Karori? Hihi in Ohariu?  

Terrestrial mammalian predators first arrived in New Zealand with people. Over the years, rats, weasels, stoats, and ferrets have established themselves here, and taken a deadly toll. New Zealand birds are particularly vulnerable as many species nest on the ground or in tree hollows, which are easily attacked. Flightless birds are also at risk, as their evolutionary response to threats is to freeze rather than flee.  

Tītipounamu at home in ZEALANDIA

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Conservation Week is coming up and what better time to check in on the tītipounamu (rifleman) which were introduced to ZEALANDIA ecosanctuary following a translocation from the Wainuiomata Mainland Island in March this year.

Sixty tītipounamu were translocated by ZEALANDIA in partnership with Greater Wellington Regional Council. The tītipounamu is Aotearoa’s smallest native bird, weighing in at just 6g.

The new arrivals have recently been detected building nests both in provided nest boxes and in natural nests, Dr Danielle Shanahan, Director of ZEALANDIA’s Centre for People and Nature says.

Lepidoptera at ZEALANDIA

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Around 100 years ago, eminent NZ entomologist George Vernon Hudson worked extensively in the Karori region to create a comprehensive list of moths and butterflies that could be found in the Wellington region.

Now, the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Entomology Society have embarked on a whāinga/mission, in partnership with ZEALANDIA, to develop a current list of moths (Lepidoptera) in the northern end of the valley.

ZEALANDIA’s Centre for People and Nature taking shape

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Work is picking up steam in ZEALANDIA’s Centre for People and Nature, with around 80 people  national and internal research projects and collaborations now underway. 

Launched last year, the Centre leads and facilitates research on how to enhance the role of nature in cities. Researchers across areas of health and wellbeing, the science of nature, and connecting people and nature, are drawing on the ZEALANDIA sanctuary, the green heart and living laboratory of Wellington. 

Gecko Enclosure Update

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The moko kākariki (Wellington green geckos/barking geckos) are on the move!  

The geckos came to us originally as part of a 'breed for release programme', and have thrilled many visitors to ZEALANDIA, in their nursery enclosures on the Round Lawn.  

Citizen Scientists help nurse Kaiwharawhara Stream back to health

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Wellington’s Kaiwharawhara Stream might be polluted now, but citizen scientists are helping restore it to health.  

In a recent survey of the stream’s estuary by Sustainable Coastlines, 2400 pieces of mostly plastic rubbish, were collected and analysed by volunteers. Coastal clean-ups, such as those coordinated by Sustainable Coastlines, have inspired the Kaiwharawhara Catchment Plastics Project, led by Dr Amanda Valois of NIWA. 

Native fish ‘hidden treasures’ in the Kaiwharawhara Stream

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Our native fish are among the hidden treasures of New Zealand’s animal life because they are seldom seen. Yet the Kaiwharawhara Stream catchment is known to have 13 species of fish out of the 21 in the Wellington Region. 

‘Sanctuary to Sea/Kia Mouriora te Kaiwharawhara’, a multi-stakeholder restoration project co-ordinated by ZEALANDIA staff, aims to improve fish habitats throughout this important catchment. Beginning within the ZEALANDIA sanctuary, the catchment is the largest in Wellington city, covering over 16 square kilometres.  

A Future in Conservation

An interview with former ZEALANDIA Youth Ambassador, Elizabeth Werner

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Through the ZEALANDIA youth ambassador programme, young people in Wellington were given the opportunity to contribute to conservation with support from the ecosanctuary. Elizabeth Werner is 18 years old and from Tawa. She is passionate about science communication and loves to creatively express the issues facing the environment through public speaking, art, and dance. 

ZEALANDIA Takahē Chick Named

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The male five-month old takahē chick at ZEALANDIA, has been named. 

The chick has been given the name Te Āwhiorangi which means ‘the encircler of heaven’. It references a sacred pounamu adze (cutting tool) that is said to be used by the atua (god) Tāne to cut the sinews that bound Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatūānuku (the earth mother). 
 
The name has been agreed by ZEALANDIA, Taranaki Whānui te Upoko o te Ika and the Department of Conservation's Takahē Recovery Programme.

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