Today is World Ranger Day, a chance to celebrate the amazing things that our hard-working rangers do across Aotearoa all year round.
Here’s a snapshot of the wide variety of jobs our rangers do on a daily basis…
6:30am: David – Visitor Centre Ranger
Each morning at the crack of dawn, David heads out to the Visitors Centre garden to say good morning to our local hut warden, ‘Carlos’.
Carlos has been a stalwart of the old Empress Hut for many years, and is a friendly face each day for the team.
He’s well kitted out with all the right gear and helps our visitors understand what it was like for the first explorers and climbers staying in the huts on the slopes of Aoraki/Mount Cook.
8:15am: Danial – Predator Free Ranger
Danial starts the day with some strategic planning in the office at Ohakune Ranger Base – because failing to plan is like planning to fail!
After the planning phase is complete, Danial travels to Rangataua Forest which was closed due to massive snow falls, to clear the track and collect the possum monitoring wax tags.
9am: Andrew – Senior Biodiversity Ranger
Andrew heads out with his conservation dogs Neo and Beau, who are highly trained to detect native birds.
Usually the sight of a dog’s bum isn’t of much interest to anyone (except another dog), but today Beau is head-down-bum up, looking for active grey faced petrel burrows, which are starting to re-colonise the Ohiwa headland.
10:30am: Mithuna – Biodiversity Ranger
Mithuna is on a mission to re-capture weka that were monitored as part of a survival study through a previous rabbit control operation.
Mithuna has waited patiently for the bird to enter the cage. Once they’re caught their monitors are cut off and the birds are set free again.
11:45: Tom – Senior Fishery Ranger
Tom and his team carry out a drift dive on the Tauranga-Taupō river.
The team of divers are counting fish and taking note of the number of spawning adult trout migrating to the upper section of the river to identify trends in the size of the mature trout population there.
12:30: Krysia – Educator
Taupō ranger Krysia celebrates the release of a new Toyota Kiwi Guardians site by helping kids discover what’s living in the stream.
2pm: Miriam – Operations Ranger
Miriam and her two dogs are not too chicken to carry out surveillance on the local rodents.
Miriam’s highly trained Conservation Dogs are experts at detecting rats and mice. They cover lots of ground sniffing out the pests, as well as putting out tracking cards on the Hen and Chicken group off the Northland coast.
3:30pm: Jamie – Biodiversity Ranger
Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve in Gisborne is one of the most important sites that DOC manages, and the Joseph Banks Gardens are an integral part of the visitor experience.
The Reserve is central part of the Tairāwhiti Navigations Project that will be part of the Sester-centennial celebrations in 2019, and no one will stand in Jamie’s way to ensure the site is looking fantastic at all times!
4pm: Wendy – Predator Free Ranger
Predator Free 2050 Community Ranger Wendy Sullivan discusses the upcoming year’s trapping programme with Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary’s Project Coordinator, Rachel Russell.
Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary is an inspiring, community-run mainland island in Picton Harbour.
No day is the same at DOC. Thanks to all of our rangers for their hard work and dedication to New Zealand’s nature all year round.