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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.

Zealandia launches fundraising campaign to support conservation work

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ZEALANDIA has today launched a Givealittle campaign to support its crucial conservation work during the COVID-19 response. 

“For almost 25 years, we’ve been working to bring the birds back to Wellington, and we need your help to keep it that way,” says ZEALANDIA’S Chief Executive Paul Atkins. “We rely on supporters and visitors to fund our critical conservation work, and this work does not stop even when we are closed to the public.” 

ZEALANDIA has been hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown, as the majority of its income comesfrom visitors, including many thousands of international tourists visiting Wellington each summer and autumn. 

"As good as it gets"

An article by ZEALANDIA Storyteller, Libby Clark

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My blinkers have been removed.  

Until recently, my love for and commitment to Zealandia has largely been focused inside the fence. Sure, I knew about the halo effect: how kākā are now all over Wellington, how tīeke are nesting in Polhill Gully, how kererū and kākāriki frequent Karori, how tūī are a common sight and sound in our gardens. 

And I had heard of Sanctuary to Sea, with a vague understanding that it was about the Kaiwharawhara Stream. 

Now that my blinkers are off, a whole new perspective has opened up for me. With the Sanctuary to Sea project, Zealandia’s ‘Living with Nature’ kaupapa has embraced an aspirational and transformative focus beyond the fence. 

 

 

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. 

Encouraging dragonflies with freshwater ponds

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Dragonflies are beautiful and live amazing lives but they are in trouble worldwide. 

ZEALANDIA has several species of dragonflies and damselflies and we are playing our part to encourage them. We are currently hosting Ruary MacKenzie-Dodds and Kari de Koenigswarter, UK dragonfly ambassadors, to survey the dragonfly populations found in the sanctuary, and educate those at ZEALANDIA about dragonflies and their freshwater habitat. Ruary and Kari will also be giving a public talk on Tuesday, 18 February.

 

Hidden Depths of ZEALANDIA’s Lakes

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Every summer, some rivers and lakes around New Zealand turn soupy green, as algae (cyanobacteria) increases in abundance, blooming in the sun-warmed water. In normal numbers, the algae is an essential part of our freshwater ecosystems. When overabundant, some species that bloom also produce toxins which pose a health risk to humans and animals that come into contact with the water.  

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