Some of Christchurch’s environmental leaders gathered in August 2022 to discuss the critical issues facing our environment in preparation for local elections. Mayoral Candidate David Meates was the special guest. Stories were told of groups around Banks Peninsula and Christchurch working to regenerate the hills, valleys and streams. For example over twenty groups are working […]
Inaka – Whitebait
Nurturing a life cycle requiring four habitats. Protecting habitat for a species thought to be common is challenging. Whitebait is caught when returning from the sea in nets along many rivers in New Zealand. Although most of us have seen and/or eaten these tiny creatures in egg fritters, the inaka* or whitebait is declining and […]
Island refuges – Matakohe-Limestone Island in Northland
Matakohe-Limestone Island was saved thanks to the hard lobbying by conservation groups over many years. Instead of being available for mining or a casino, golf course and hotel, this island became a scenic reserve in 1990 for all to enjoy.
NZ Ecology Conference – Reflections
The NZES conference is the yearly gathering of the ‘ecology whanau’, It was great to be part of this gathering last November and this was the piece I wrote for NZES newsletter. It’s a time to catch up with colleagues, hear what insights and discoveries have been made over the last year and to welcome […]
Wintering over monarch butterflies spotted in Auckland
July 2015 in Western Park, Auckland What a mesmerising sight of colour and movement caught my eye when visiting an Auckland park this July – over 50 monarch butterflies dancing and feeding on the yellow flowers of the naturalised german ivy (Delairea odorata). The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is New Zealand’s most identifiable butterfly. We consider it […]
Stargazing at Mt John Observatory Tekapo
‘A night with the stars’ according to Graeme Murray one of our guides on the recent Canterbury University Alumni weekend to Mt John observatory, has transformed Tekapo into a bustling ‘must visit’ location in NZ. Graeme regales the group of Alumni with stories of the land. The search for a southern astronomical observatory was initiated […]
Chatham Petrel – good news research story
Good news story: In a just published paper the Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris) status has improved from a critically low 200-400 in 1990 to around 1400 birds (2010). I’ve watched the various techniques used in this effort while conducting my own research (Roberts et al 2007) over the last 12 years on the effects of […]
Roaming in a Fuchsia Forest
Wall to wall kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticata) greeted me this morning when I paused along the Summit Road above Christchurch to do a short walk through Omahu Bush Reserve. I love the creamy-gold peeling bark of these trees that invites you to finger their paper-thin layers and the very delicate purple-pink flowers that sprinkle the forest […]
How do we change thinking around rivers?
I’ve just been kayaking the final section of the Selwyn River before it flows into Canterbury’s largest lake – Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. Greens co-leader Russell Norman and MP Eugene Sage were keen to see the current state of this once clean river which was loved for fishing and swimming. My Bushwise Women experience was called […]
Norfolk Island and the Incredible Phillip Island
Phillip Island – seabird islands exude a special energy, this island a few kilometres off Norfolk Island was no different – a rough landing followed by lots of WOW moments.