NEWS


 

ZEALANDIA’s COVID-19 update

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With today’s announcement that New Zealand is moving its COVID-19 response to Level 3 now, and to Level 4 in 48 hours, we have made the decision to close ZEALANDIA to the public, members and volunteers, effective immediately. This includes the visitor centre, Rātā cafe, and the sanctuary itself.

Our priority at this time is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and our team, and we are making this difficult decision in order to help protect our community. We will remain closed for the next four weeks, as directed in the government’s advice today.

ZEALANDIA’s open and taking care of our visitors and teams

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It’s challenging times like these that show the strength of a community. And our community is strong – we care about each other, we care about nature, and we care about our shared future. 

Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to look after both your physical and mental health, and we want to encourage everyone to take the opportunity to get outside, breathe deep, and make the most of the wildlife around us. 

ZEALANDIA’s work to keep Wellington’s wildlife thriving continues, and we are open for business, encouraging those who feel fit and well to visit.  

 

 

 

Tuna/eel release to keep population thriving

Article by Elizabeth Hibbs

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Last week the tuna/eels living in the wetlands and streams at ZEALANDIA – Te Māra a Tāne were captured and released downstream beyond the sanctuary. As part of the Roto Kawau/lower reservoir restoration project, rangers worked alongside mana whenua, Taranaki Whānui, to carry out the translocation. Read on to find out what’s the issue with eels and why we need to do this. 

Tītipounamu thriving in the sanctuary

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I hear the calls, a high-pitched buzzing ‘zipt, zipt, zipt’. Scanning high in the canopy, I spot a couple darting to and fro with their quick movements. These are the elusive tītipounamu/ rifleman, which I’m excited to spot at last since their introduction in March this year, with the help of ranger Kari Beaven. 

We head up a steep slope on the western scarp of the lower lake, and crouch low to observe a nest. Kari says this is the pair’s second nest for the season – and sure enough, I spot the female coming to feed her chicks several times. A quick food drop, then she’s away out again. 

Spring in the Air

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Spring is truly underway, and many of the birds in ZEALANDIA are exhibiting courtship, breeding and nesting behaviour. Here are some things to look out for if you are visiting the valley. 

The takahē are nesting again this year! In the last week of October rangers found Nio on a nest in the wetland and have set out a camera to keep an eye on whether any pīpī / chicks hatch. With an incubation period of 30 days, and a further nestling period of two weeks, it may be some time before we see any evidence of this, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed! 

Takahē make nests among vegetation, with overhead cover to hide it from avian predators. Males and females take turns incubating eggs, with the female typically taking the day shift and swapping with the male around dusk. 

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