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Media release: Native parasitic plant seeds germinate in Wellington, providing hope for future

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New Zealand’s only fully parasitic plant has been successfully germinated at the Lions Ōtari Native Plant Conservation Laboratory in Wellington. The milestone germination was of rare seeds gifted from Ngāti Rereahu in the first translocation to involve all six Greater Wellington iwi.

Media Release: Taranaki Whānui leads the way by declaring New Zealand’s first plastic free urupā

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Taranaki Whānui iwi has officially declared Opau Urupā in Makara, Wellington as plastic- free, the first urupā (Māori cemetery) nationally to do so. 

They’re encouraging the community to use sustainable, plastic-free ways to commemorate loved ones instead of using plastic flowers.

Biophilic cities

Living at one with nature

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Picture a city where trees and plants coexist with buildings and streets, where a thick cover of ivy snaking up the side of a skyscraper is a deliberate choice rather than a happy accident, where you might pass a dozen exotic species of flower on the way to work, or happen upon some friendly wildlife on your way to buy milk. Imagine turning the sometimes lifeless architecture of an urban environment into a symbiotic relationship; a biophilic city.

Rifleman Interview with Danielle Shanahan

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Last week, it was announced that the planned translocation of 80 tītipounamu / rifleman into the sanctuary in March 2017, followed by another 80 into Otari-Wilton's Bush in 2018 had been postponed due to ZEALANDIA having just learned that population in the Wainuiomata source site (the Wainuiomata / Orongorongo Key Native Ecosystem area) are considerably lower than previously thought.

We asked Dr. Danielle Shanahan, ZEALANDIA’s Conservation Manager, for some background on the postponement and about the next steps in bringing these iconic species into the sanctuary.

Wherefore art thou Spotted Skinks?

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On Thursday 28th January, 2016, 45 rare Spotted skinks were released onto the slope above Tui Terrace. This was the first time in 5 years that a new species was introduced into Zealandia. The Spotted skinks were given a formal welcome both in Māori and English. There was a ceremony attended by representatives of the local iwi, dignitories, ZEALANDIA staff and volunteers, also the public. Speeches about conservation and the importance of protecting this rare species were given by the Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown and Wellington City Councillor, Andy Foster. ZEALANDIA Conservation Manager, Raewyn Empson, explained this was the sanctuary’s 18th species translocation, but it was the first time that lizards had been released here.

Dawn & Night Tours

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One early morning the Member’s Walk Group met at dawn at the Visitors’ Centre to hear The Dawn Chorus’ along the tracks before a welcome, warm breakfast at Rata Cafe.

The birds were just tuning up and the ducks were just quacking quietly. As the sun touched the hilltops, the bush colours sprang into focus and the birds sprang into action. Suddenly birds were leaving their roosts and flying around.

Zealandia’s eye-in-the-sky Alfie Kākā catches up with cousin Sirocco Kākāpō

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Alfie: Hey Cuz! Awesome to have you back “couch-surfing” at Zealandia again. I always have room for my favourite relatives.

Sirocco: Skraaarrk! It’s great to be back Alf. Despite my busy schedule of climbing trees and international superstardom I love coming back to see my mates here at Zealandia and meeting all my fans. 

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