As 2015 comes to an end, we look back at some of the top images featured on our blog this year.
January – Bollons Island is mouse free.
On an earlier visit, staff were able to confirm that Bollons Island, the second largest island of the Antipodes group, is mouse free.
February – Dive into the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve.
Just north of Auckland, off the east coast, the Poor Knights Islands are an internationally renowned dive site and one of New Zealand’s ten Coastal Gem marine reserves.
March: The great Fiordland whio race.
150 rubber whio/blue ducks were released on to the Upukerora River, in Te Anau, for the Great Fiordland Whio Race. The race was part of the Fiordland whio family fun day, celebrating Whio Awareness Month.
April: Hamilton’s frog.
The Hamilton’s frog is one of the world’s most endangered.Takapourewa / Stephens Island is Marlborough’s most remote DOC outpost and one of the only places in the world where you’ll find Hamilton’s frog. This beautiful image was taken by Sabine Bernert.
May: Prince Harry visits Ulva Island.
Prince Harry got close to some of New Zealand’s rarest birdlife on Ulva Island / Te Wharawhara, off Stewart Island / Rakiura, during his visit earlier this year.
June: Chatham Island’s brown skua.
An image of a brown skua/hākoakoa pair at sunrise on Rangatira/South-East Island in the Chatham Islands. The Chatham Islands are one of the the main breeding grounds for the native brown skua. Photo by Leon Berard | CC BY-NC 2.0
July: The Puawananga vine.
The puawānanga (white clematis, clematis paniculata) derives from pua = bloom and wānanga = obtain knowledge. This climbing vine takes its name from the story of Māui who climbed to the heavens to obtain knowledge for humankind. The Puawananga vine featured on our blog for Maori Language Week.
August: DOC’s Threatened Species Ambassador.
In August, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced Nicola Toki as New Zealand’s first Threatened Species Ambassador. Self-confessed nature nerd Nicola Toki is pictured holding Flip Flop the little spotted kiwi. Photo courtesy of Wellington Zoo.
September: The War on Weeds.
Volunteers got stuck in to remove weeds like old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba) on Maud Island (Te Hoiere) in the Marlborough Sounds.
October: Working with Maui dolphin.
DOC Intern Lindsay Wickman shared her experience working with Maui dolphin. With an estimated 55 individuals remaining, Māui dolphin conservation is a daunting challenge. But DOC staff are working towards a goal: that someday they will once again be found up and down the North Island coastline.
November: Great Walks on Google Maps.
New Zealand’s Great Walks launched on Google Maps. The maps document the awe-inspiring sights of the Rakiura,Milford, Heaphy, Lake Waikaremoana, Routeburn, Kepler and Abel Tasman Coast tracks.
December: Kiwi experience for a Tauranga family.
A Tauranga mum and her three children had the “most amazing day ever” when they released two kiwi chicks at Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary in December.
Happy New Year to everyone at DOC. We know you have your critics but they should follow your blog to know what a great job you all do – actually don’t even need to do that – just open their eyes! Happy New Year to you all.