It’s Conservation Week from the 14th – 22nd of October! While we work year round to protect New Zealand’s nature, it’s one week we encourage everyone to get involved in your local community. This week, we’re also celebrating all over the country. Here’s a snapshot of what our rangers are up to.
Buller rangers Sean, Jess, Kate and Ross are on the Tauranga Bay Headland checking one of the 19 traps currently in place there.
Their goal is to plant natives over the entire headland and make it predator free, and one day re-introduce species such as lizard and sooty shearwater to join the little blue penguins living there now.
They will be celebrating Conservation Week with a public day at the headland, which will have various information stands about the project, the flora and fauna that live there and the Predator Free 2050 goal.
Auckland Predator Free Ranger Kat is setting up her backyard trap.
Kat will be celebrating Conservation Week with lots of Auckland events, including trapping workshops at Mangere Mountain and an Upper Harbour Eco Fun Day in Hobsonville.
Wanaka rangers Kerie and Julie are planting trees at Reko’s Point Conservation Area. They’ve organised a community event to celebrate dedicated volunteers for Conservation Week.
“Taupo for Tomorrow” educator Krysia, Ana from Kids Greening Taupo and Graeme from the Waipahihi Botanical Gardens are demonstrating how to “Plant like a ninja” as part of “All things Green”, an event to inspire the community to plant natives in their backyards.
Community ranger Millie showing her niece from Australia her favourite local reserve – Opepe bush. She loved the silver fern and hugging the giant rimu!
Millie will be looking after Opepe Bush Historic Reserve during Conservation Week by carrying out some predator control there.
Biodiversity Ranger Nicky flying home from a day at Motunau Island where she collected seed from the threatened plant Cook’s scurvy grass (a type of coastal cress). The seeds will be grown and planted at other sites.
Biodiversity Ranger Derek is working at Akaroa Marine Reserve operating the drop camera for monitoring the fish in the reserve.
He will help with fence repairs to make sure reserves are protected from stock grazing for Conservation Week.
Senior Ranger Anita checks traps on the Kaituna River that protect Australasian crested grebe, which nest along there (she caught two massive Norway rats and a weasel!).
For Conservation Week, Anita is going to check on some mistletoe seeds she sowed on divaricating shrubs in her garden over winter as part of a project led by Christchurch City Council to get mistletoe established on the plains. Fingers crossed they have germinated. Success rate is only meant to be 5% but she’s feeling lucky!
She will also paint her garage roof, which has never been painted. Anita got inspired after hearing that unpainted steel roofs contribute to heavy metal loads in streams through rain and storm water runoff. Conservation Week provided the motivation she needed to finally get on to it.
Trainee ranger Jenna track cutting with a pole saw in Manuka bay.
Jenna will do a braided river bird survey on the Waiau river for Conservation Week. She expects to see lots of banded dotterels, terns, black billed gulls and pied stilts.
Biodiversity Ranger Donna Worthy with her first Canterbury mudfish. Donna is working at a mudfish site near Hororata and removing trout from the stream to protect the mudfish.
Donna will survey birds with Jenna (above) for Conservation Week, as well as help out at the Wild Eyes Mission HQ event in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.
Senior ranger Margot is collecting rubbish at Karaka Point in Picton. This is a very popular local walking, fishing and viewing spot and is also of great importance to local iwi as it was once a pā site.
Margot will show her backyard some love for Conservation week by doing weed control. She lives on a native bush covered section with unwanted guests like gorse and old mans beard. She’ll also look after native kākābeak she planted last year, which is one of New Zealand’s threatened plant species.
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Visitor Centre ranger David Sagar is setting a DOC150 Stoat Trap in his backyard. David helps to run a volunteer community stoat trap programme in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park to get people involved with checking and setting trap lines around the park and doing their bit to work towards making New Zealand predator free by 2050.
David is out checking trap lines for Conservation Week, and has created a Conservation Week display in his visitor centre that has information on what you can do at home to grow native plants, trap predators, and attract birds to your backyard.
Biodiversity Ranger Flo Gaud plants trees and looks after a rat trap in her back yard.
Flo is creating a sanctuary in her backyard to positively contribute to the wider biodiversity and conservation projects in New Zealand. She’s doing this by planting some native trees and keeping her section free of pests to improve the habitat and food source for the native birds and lizards and protect them from introduced predators. She will plant more natives and regularly check her backyard trap throughout Conservation Week.
It’s Conservation Week from the 14th – 22nd of October. Get involved by protecting, growing, nurturing and caring for our nature.