NEWS


 

Ara Kawau – the story of ZEALANDIA’s electric boat

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

Ara Kawau, ZEALANDIA’s electric boat, is a familiar sight, plying the waters of the Lower Lake. But did you know that our boat has an interesting back-story as well?

Ara Kawau is a Duffy electric boat, invented when Marshall “Duffy” Duffield placed the motor from a second-hand golf cart into the hull of a beat-up motorboat in Newport Beach, California, more than 45 years ago.

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.

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. 

Counting Kiwi

Louise Slocombe

It’s a beautiful calm summer evening. The last glow of the sunset is just fading from the sky and most of the daytime birds have fallen silent, although the kākā are still intermittently screeching in the tall pines at the top of the valley. I’m at the pylon, one of the highest points in the ZEALANDIA valley. I’m with another volunteer, and together we start unpacking torches, a clipboard and a compass, check the time, and settle ourselves down on a bench to wait.

Five Fun Facts about Fungi

Louise Slocombe

It’s autumn and fungi are appearing all over the ZEALANDIA valley. There are also fungi sprouting up in the ZEALANDIA stairwell - but in the form of Hayley May’s beautiful photographs. Her exhibition, ‘an enchantment of fungi’, is running until the end of June 2019. Hayley’s photographs were featured in this online photo essay a couple of years ago and she has continued to photograph fungi in the valley ever since.

 

Here are a few things that you may not know about fungi...

ZEALANDIA Takahē Chick Named

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

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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