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

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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.

Call for nominations: member appointed Guardians

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

The Guardians provide a long term strategic perspective to the Trust’s activities and stewardship of our founding vision. Kevin Mason and John Burnet, member appointed Guardians’ will retire by rotation at the AGM this year, having completed their three year terms. They have not indicated at this stage whether they will offer themselves for re-election. Accordingly, we are now calling for nominations for these vacancies.

Paths Less Travelled

Rosemary Cole

It can be easy to stick to what you know, to keep to the well-walked and well-marked routes through ZEALANDIA. How often do you take the paths less travelled? 
There are many lesser-visited spots in the valley, particularly once you start exploring the tracks beyond the Upper Dam. However, you don’t always have to venture far to get off the beaten track. 

ZEALANDIA’s Centre for People and Nature taking shape

Kate Miller

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. 

Citizen Scientists help nurse Kaiwharawhara Stream back to health

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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. 

Matariki at ZEALANDIA

26 June – 1 July 2019

Kate Miller

Celebrate Matariki at  Te Mārā a Tāne ZEALANDIA with family and friends, as we look upwards from our world of Papatūānuku, the earth mother, to explore the realm of Ranginui, the sky father.  
 
Go on a fun family Sanctuary Star Search, visit the Star Station and design a star to take home or leave on the Zealandia night sky mural. Share Matariki tales and waiata with storyteller Moira Wairama. Learn about the Maramataka (Māori Lunar Calendar) and Matariki with an astrophysicist, Dr Pauline Harris. View the night sky through the Wellington Astronomical Society’s telescopes and many more stellar events!  

Native fish ‘hidden treasures’ in the Kaiwharawhara Stream

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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.  

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