Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).
Today we profile Hannah Edmonds, Biodiversity Ranger – Species.
Name: Hannah Edmonds.
Position: Biodiversity Ranger – Species.
What kind of things do you do in your role?
Monitoring, translocating and recovery planning for the following species:
- short-tailed bats
- long-tailed bats
- Fiordland crested penguins
- orange-fronted parakeets
What is the best part about your job?
Working in some absolutely stunning parts of rugged Fiordland, on interesting and challenging creatures, oh and with some cool people too!
What is the hardest part about your job?
Trying to monitor and protect species that we know so little about with a limited budget.
What led you to your role in DOC?
I did a Landcare Research Conservation Corps in Nelson when I was about 18. We came down to Fiordland and monitored Fiordland skinks and robins on Breaksea Island among other things, and I was hooked. I ended up doing a suite of pest and species contracts in the Nelson/Marlborough area, and wildlife work overseas for a few years. Then I did the Postgraduate Wildlife Management Diploma at Otago. After that, and another jaunt overseas, I came to Te Anau for a six month contract. That was (gulp) 10 years ago!
What was your highlight from the month just gone?
Taking ‘Kids Restore the Kepler‘ competition winner, four year old Lilli, out to see a kiwi. She was pretty excited and did really well coping with several hours scrambling through bush catching six kiwi chicks!
The rule of 3…
- My two metre Peter.
- Friends and family (including the furry ones too).
- Wilderness and wildlife.
3 pet peeves
- Anthropocentricity, and anthropomorphism is pretty annoying too. Big words ay, I can tell you’re impressed.
- Going without real coffee.
- Trying to come up with three pet peeves.
- Fejoas from Nelson/Marlborough.
- Scallops from Stewart Island.
- Berry fruit yoghurt icecreams from Cromwell.
3 favourite places in New Zealand
- Fiordland of course, in particular the alpine and the special islands.
- Kahurangi: Mt Owen, Mt Arthur, Cobb Valley.
- Golden Bay‘s golden beaches.
Favourite movie, album, book
- Movie: Im a bit of a Tim Burton and Guy Ritchie fan… but I’d have to say The God’s Must be Crazy is a winner for giving you the stitch from laughing so much!
- Album: Oh so many, but the all time bogan classic Hysteria by Def Leppard rocks on! The drummer from Def Leppard’s only got one arm!
- Book: ‘South’ or ‘Endurance’ about Shackleton and his crew’s unbelievable journey of survival.
Deep and meaningful…
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Become a famous rock star before you get to your late 30’s… oh, and moisturise.
Who or what inspires you and why?
There are many people who have done amazing things the world over, and closer to home who inspire me to live the dream. My inspiration also comes from learning more about our lesser known species and wanting to protect them from extinction.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A famous rockstar, or more realistically, a zoologist.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
A rockstar of course.
What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?
Sustainability to me means to keep the motor running—well that’s a contradiction in terms. I mean the mind and body; look after it so it will sustain you throughout your lifetime.
Which green behaviour would you like to adopt this year—at home? At work?
I’d like to be growing more vegies, catching more trout, and shooting more deer so there are less trips to the supermarket, less packaging and so I know what I’m eating. Oh and I might buy a better bike so I don’t drive to work so much.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
I’d like to get into the brain and body of a Sinbad skink so I can find out where else in Fiordland’s extensive alpine they are living!
What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?
Think of the bigger picture, or entire ecosystems, and why you are doing what you are doing. A trap line for stoats may protect some species such as kiwi or kaka, but what about controlling rodents for other species such as mohua, bats and lizards?
great interview Hannah 🙂
Love your office. Might not be quite so appealing on a frosty winter morning! It’s great work you are doing and it’s lovely to see your passion for what you do and where you do it.