New Taupō King Country Ranger, Amelia Willis, tells us about her first month on the job—from taking part in an emergency lahar response drill up Mount Ruapehu, to joining an aerial film shoot of the Great Lake Trail, Amelia learns there’s never a dull moment at DOC.Continue Reading...
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A Mr S Claus has been detained after flying into New Zealand air space with undeclared animals, unwanted organisms and CITES listed threatened species.
The animals—nine reindeer—were impounded on arrival and Mr Claus has so far been unable to provide documentation to show that they have passed biosecurity clearances.
“This is a blatant breach of both CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and New Zealand’s biosecurity laws, ” says a senior DOC spokesperson.
“The contents of a bag have been found and appears to hold many personal items that Mr Claus insisted were gifts, and also contained a number of rare parrots from tropical countries. This could be a real feather in the cap for busting a bird smuggling ring“.
Mr Claus insisted he knew nothing of the parrots and was just asked to pass the plain brown wrappers onto someone else on the other side of the border.
The sledge that Mr Claus was riding is made from a rare hardwood from an un-sustainably managed rainforest. The wood is on the CITIES threatened species database of prohibited timbers. Exotic spiders were also found crawling under the vehicle; Claus claimed he hadn’t used it in nearly 12 months.
He was dressed in polar bear fur from his head to his foot and his clothes were tarnished with ashes and soot. His gumboots were covered in dirt and reindeer faeces which carried numerous diseases including didymo.
Furthermore, Claus was suspected to be under the influence of illegal drugs. His eyes were too twinkly, he was far too merry, his cheeks were too rosy, his nose like a cherry. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke encircled his head like a wreath.
Every Friday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.
Today we profile Dave Cade, freshwater threats ranger…
Name: David Cade—known as Didymo Dave
Position: Freshwater threats ranger, based in Turangi
What kind of things do you do in your role?
Spread the CHECK CLEAN DRY/kaitiakitanga message far and wide by whatever means, far or foul.
What is the best part about your job?
I don’t have a job—I’m on a mission for New Zealand.
What led you to your role in DOC?
They came looking for me!
What was your highlight from the month just gone?
Two mates adapted a small log splitter to an aluminium can crusher so I can crush the hundreds of cans we pick up from off the side of the road, restaurants, and bars etc. so much faster. The proceeds from the sale of the cans are donated to conservation projects.
The rule of three…
- Trout fishing
- Waikato rugby teams
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
Three pet peeves
- People who don’t respect their country
- People who drop rubbish
- Selfish people
Three favourite places in New Zealand
The Bible—love the story of David who kicked the snot out of Goliath.
Deep and meaningful…
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Dream bigger dreams then go chase them!
Who or what inspires you and why?
Jeff Donaldson—Otago Regional Council, Billy Graham—a boxer from Wellington, and the Late General Patton. Men on a mission!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A dairy farmer—I was until my health packed up.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
I’d be running my own business again.
What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?
Aluminium cans can fund a lot of conservation—don’t throw them away.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
A North Island robin, the cutest little things around.
What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?
This country is worth fighting for!
Dave’s stoat tail project
The stoat tail project started a couple of years back. I get tails sent to me from around New Zealand. I tie them into trout flies in my own time and then sell them through a conservation-minded fishing store for $5 per fly.
I make no charge for materials or time, the store charges no commission, and all proceeds are donated to a trapping line that is on the Hinemaiaia Stream, 20 minutes south of Taupo which is run by my son and I again in our spare time. We have built up to 125 traps, and just on 600 rats, stoats, and weasels have been trapped.