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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.

ZEALANDIA Mātauranga Māori Summer Scholarship

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Mātauranga Māori is Māori knowledge systems, and an area of increasingly wider interest as it works to complement Western science systems.  The ZEALANDIA Mātauranga Māori Summer Scholarship programme began in the summer of 2019/2020 to provide the sanctuary a mātauranga Māori perspective into areas of sanctuary relevance. Read more about our researchers here. 

Unique plant coming to the valley

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What plant has no leaves or stems? Pua o te Rēinga/Dactylanthus taylorii!

Pua o te Rēinga is New Zealand’s only endemic (unique to NZ) plant that is fully parasitic. Unlike most plants that use photosynthesis for energy, it gets its energy by attaching to the root of a host tree and taking nutrients from it. The host root then develops a flared surface that the pua o te Rēinga can grow around. The tree is not harmed in this process, and both species are able to coexist together.

Environmental DNA

What is it?

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How do we monitor wildlife that we can’t always see, particularly in water? The answer is environmental DNA (eDNA).  This process works by collecting water samples that get tested for trace elements of DNA left by the species living in the habitat. By gaining a better picture of what lives where, we can start to understand how we might create a healthier environment.

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