Jobs at DOC: Glen Currall – Ranger

Department of Conservation —  21/06/2013

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 Glen Curral, Biodiversity/Assets Ranger in Twizel.

Glen Currall on a quad bike while working in the Tasman Valley.

Trapping in the Tasman Valley on a good day. And yes that is a winch on my quad

At work

Some things I do in my job include… trapping cats and mustelids etc. As time allows I get involved with electric fishing, kaki (black stilt) work, and anything else I can help with.

The best bit about my job is… working outdoors with views of Mt Cook, and the variety my role allows.

The funniest DOC moment I’ve had so far is… when I was in a hurry to get a block of traps checked ahead of the forecasted snow later that evening and the quad bike became stuck. And when I say stuck I mean it took me five hours of digging to get out. I kept myself motivated with the thought of avoiding the dreaded office shout and the shame that goes with it. What I didn’t know at the time was that my workmate trapping in the next block had got his quad stuck as well, but had to abandon it as there was no way he could dig it out on his own, so had legged it back to the truck. I guess you could say it was just one of those days. The upside was the forecasted snow never came so we were able to winch out his quad the next day.

Rangers holding kaki boxes ready for release.

Kaki release near Lake Tekapo

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is… as I haven’t been with the department for that long I am yet to meet this person.

On a personal note…

The song that always cheers me up is… definitely Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”.

My best ever holiday was… recently when my partner Melanie and I travelled to Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Denmark, England, France, and for the grand finale, two days at Disney Land, LA. I’m still in that place where you think about it every day and smile. It was such an awesome experience that I can’t wait to travel again.

Glen holding a brown trout by the Lewis River.

A solid Lewis River brown taken on the dry fly

My greatest sporting moment was when… I ran the length of the field side stepping and fending off players to score under the posts in a high school rugby match at the tender age of 14. When I walked off the field at the end of the game, one of the 1st fifteen boys said, “You looked like John Kirwan the way you scored that try”. I was stoked.

Glen changing a GPS tracking collar on a feral cat.

Changing a GPS tracking collar on a feral cat. I play the role of chief cat wrestler, which has it’s share of exciting moments

In my spare time I… have just started down the long road of becoming a “Master bow hunter”. I am now consumed by how many game points I need to gain the next award. I see animals as points (rabbit 2, hare 5). You are probably thinking ‘Is this an illness?’ The short answer is yes. Damn you Rhys Garside! Lol.

If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be… a Falcon, without question…. Just think: no boundaries, total freedom. That’s what I’m talking about.

A grizzly bear spotted by Glen.

A grizzly bear we were lucky enough to encounter near Lake Maligne, Jasper National Park. The wildlife for me was the highlight of our time in Canada