NEWS


 

Predator Free Wellington - ZEALANDIA’s halo effect and what you can do to help

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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.  

Citizen Scientists help nurse Kaiwharawhara Stream back to health

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Wellington’s Kaiwharawhara Stream might be polluted now, but citizen scientists are helping restore it to health.  

In a recent survey of the stream’s estuary by Sustainable Coastlines, 2400 pieces of mostly plastic rubbish, were collected and analysed by volunteers. Coastal clean-ups, such as those coordinated by Sustainable Coastlines, have inspired the Kaiwharawhara Catchment Plastics Project, led by Dr Amanda Valois of NIWA. 

Native fish ‘hidden treasures’ in the Kaiwharawhara Stream

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Our native fish are among the hidden treasures of New Zealand’s animal life because they are seldom seen. Yet the Kaiwharawhara Stream catchment is known to have 13 species of fish out of the 21 in the Wellington Region. 

‘Sanctuary to Sea/Kia Mouriora te Kaiwharawhara’, a multi-stakeholder restoration project co-ordinated by ZEALANDIA staff, aims to improve fish habitats throughout this important catchment. Beginning within the ZEALANDIA sanctuary, the catchment is the largest in Wellington city, covering over 16 square kilometres.  

A Future in Conservation

An interview with former ZEALANDIA Youth Ambassador, Elizabeth Werner

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Through the ZEALANDIA youth ambassador programme, young people in Wellington were given the opportunity to contribute to conservation with support from the ecosanctuary. Elizabeth Werner is 18 years old and from Tawa. She is passionate about science communication and loves to creatively express the issues facing the environment through public speaking, art, and dance. 

Kākahi are coming to ZEALANDIA!

Learn about this important ecological engineer

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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.

Sanctuary to Sea

Kia Mauriora te Kaiwharawhara

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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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