NEWS


 

Poisonous Plants of the Sanctuary

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Do you know your tutu from your supplejack?

You’d be wise not to eat any asparagus-like shoots in the bush if you’re not sure!

In 2014 tramper Matthew Pike found this out the hard way after adding what he thought was a supplejack sapling to his boil-up, only to find – when he woke up in hospital – that he’d seasoned his dinner with the notorious tutu: a poisonous plant full of the neurotoxin tutin. Matthew’s reaction was so severe that his convulsions dislocated his shoulder; he was lucky to survive.

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.

20 Years of Conservation in the Capital

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Wellington resident Jim Lynch, QSM, who from 1990 – 1995, managed to sell his dream of a fenced, urban sanctuary, and see it evolve into ZEALANDIA, Wellington’s pride. Jim, now retired and living in Waikanae, remains humble about his achievement. He’s adamant that he was just a small cog within a much larger group effort. “I feel so lucky to have been a part of this project. There was a lot of worry in the first few years, and it’s only in the last 5 years that it’s started to feel safe. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.

World Wetlands Day – what can you do?

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Swamps, marshes, fens and bogs.  These are our wetland areas, crucial buffer zones at the boundaries between land and water. Wetlands act as giant sponges in the landscape, soaking up rainfall which helps prevent flooding during storms. They also help protect rivers and lakes from runoff from the land during heavy rain by trapping sediment that can choke a stream and absorbing surplus nutrients like nitrogen that can lead to the explosion of algal blooms.  Wetlands are a toxin sink, storing environmental pollutants as well as nitrogen and carbon in its wet, airless soil and in the deep roots of the plants that grow there.

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