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 Jamin Barkley, Orange Fronted Parakeet Ranger, Operations in Rangiora.
Some things I do in my job include…
I monitor and protect our endangered orange-fronted parakeet/kakariki karaka, including watching and protecting nests from furry four-footed beasts. I get to spend up to ten days at a time in the Aotearoa wilderness with one or more of our small team, and make the odd island visit to see how some of the birds are doing in predator-free areas. I also help with translocations to and from the captive breeding program at Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust.
Moving eggs from a small hole 10 metres up a tree in mountains to a nest box with adopting parents in Christchurch can be an exercise!
This helps achieve DOC’s vision by…
I work to keep one of our nationally-endangered species from extinction and to maintain the diversity of our natural heritage.
The best bit about my job is…
Working amongst our natural environment – a world with less sign of human footprints. Particularly working with our endangered treasures, as I grew up listening to the story of the black robin, visiting nature reserves and watching birds building nests from my school desk.
The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is…
Finding my first orange-fronted parakeet nest in 2007!
The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is…
There are a couple who have inspired me. Dave Eastwood was a leader on a youth camp when I was 16 years old – He told us about his work with kiwi while leading us through the outdoor valley I now work in. Wayne King was my first supervisor who taught me about working in the mountains and what it takes to be a good ranger – a good DOC role model.
On a personal note
Most people don’t know that I… preached a sermon at a (small) church service.
My happy place is… getting home from the wilderness to my wife Magdala and our sons.
My best ever holiday was… doing a one year OE to Ukraine and Canada with Magdala.
My greatest sporting moment was when… I shot my first deer with a bow and arrow. I couldn’t help smiling for weeks, according to my parents.
My hero is… Magdala my wife, who puts up with me being away regularly for work and often looking after our two sons on her own.
Deep and meaningful
My favourite quote is… “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but a person of understanding draws them out.”
My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… Get outdoors and see the beauty of our country Aotearoa, it’s the reason people come across the world to see it. Then you will want to save it.