NEWS


 

Meet our Newest Arrivals

Kākahi / Freshwater Mussels

Louise Slocombe

You may not see very much of the newest arrivals in the valley, but they are being carefully monitored all the same.

Two hundred kākahi (New Zealand freshwater mussels) have just been translocated from Wairarapa Moana and the Parangarahu lakes to the Upper Lake with the help of iwi partners, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Rangitāne o Wairarapa. Two different kākahi  species were included in the translocation: Echyridella menziesi and Echyridella aucklandica.

New Zealand’s lizards: remembering a forgotten fauna

New Zealand: a land of birds?

Christopher Woolley

Aotearoa is well known as a land of birds. Some of the earliest observations of the country’s natural history were ornithological: Joseph Banks famously described being “awakd by the singing of the birds ashore” on his voyage aboard the HMS Endeavour (1768-1771). Ngā manu (birds) often appear in whakataukī (Māori proverbs). The phrase: “He Kotuku rerenga tahi/ A white heron flies once” is used to refer to an auspicious occasion. Birds are taonga and part of the ‘kiwi’ identity. They have become part of our national brand, standing for the uniqueness of our way of life and the fragility of our ecosystems, and we treasure them for it.

Kākahi are coming to ZEALANDIA!

Learn about this important ecological engineer

Dr Danielle Shanahan

ZEALANDIA is welcoming a new addition to the sanctuary - Kākahi (freshwater mussels) are being introduced to our upper lake for the first time!

While they don’t have feathers and eyes, we are REALLY excited. The two species of kākahi are considered as ‘At Risk – Declining’ by the Department of Conservation—and they have a very important role as an ‘ecosystem engineer’ in our waterways. They can help keep lakes clean and healthy.

Wellington is becoming a global leader as we learn to live with nature

Dr Danielle Shanahan

Our nation’s capital is being celebrated as ‘an ecological triumph’ (National Geographic January 2018)—Wellington is one of the only cities in the world where the diversity of native birds is increasing. This change has been driven by the establishment of ZEALANDIA 22 years ago, the 225 ha sanctuary for wildlife just 3 km from downtown Wellington. 

Native fish surveying

Restoring ZEALANDIA's waterways

Dr Danielle Shanahan

ZEALANDIA has a 500-year vision of restoration, and our lakes offer a unique challenge in this respect. They are man-made, and restoring them to the state they were in before the dams went up is not really an option. As a result, we are now aiming to create healthy, functioning lake ecosystems here in the heart of Wellington.

Sanctuary to Sea

Kia Mauriora te Kaiwharawhara

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

ZEALANDIA’s first 20 years was all about focusing on the land within our pioneering predator-proof fence, and what a success this has been. The valley now harbours a rich habitat for many birds, lizards, and invertebrates, and our vegetation is now thriving. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of a huge range of volunteers, members, staff and donors that have supported the project along the way.

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