Archives For Otari-Wilton’s Bush

If you love the idea of Wellington becoming the wildlife capital of New Zealand, then you’re going to love Enhancing the Halo – a new conservation initiative backed by the Morgan Foundation. Today, Nick Tansley from the Foundation, tells us what it’s all about.

Enhancing the halo is all about creating a safe haven for all of our native creatures in our backyards in Wellington. We want to make the most of all the work put into the wildlife hotspots around Wellington such as Zealandia, Otari-Wilton’s Bush and Oruaiti Reserve.

Bellbird. Adult male. Dunedin, 2009-7. Image © Craig McKenzie.

Enhancing the halo will help protect bellbirds and other native species

One part of the project is about focussing on how to deal with pests on our sections and I am finding this to be a really exciting area. The specialists working alongside Enhancing the Halo are breaking new ground in urban pest control.

Families that I have talked to are also really keen to get cracking into a project they can do at home and that involves hands on activities.

Recently I visited St Mark’s Church school with Gareth Morgan. The classroom was filled with bright eyed kids who made us both feel welcome and were eager to ask questions. It was great to see that their science teachers were already exploring many environmental issues with their students. These students were well informed and already passionate about conservation.

Gareth talking to seniors at St Mark's Church School. Photo from St Mark's Church School.

Gareth talking to students at St Mark’s Church School.

We asked the Year 7 and 8 students to put up their hands if they wanted to start trapping predators. Every boy’s arm was thrust to the ceiling as if we had asked “who likes free ice-cream?” Girls were a little more conservative, wanting to learn more before committing to killing things.

Capturing the children’s enthusiasm for action, and their parent’s desire for making an ecological difference, gives us hope that Wellington can bring back the dawn chorus.

Watch a video of New Zealand’s dawn chorus:

Live in Wellington? Become a Halo Household

Sign up to be a Halo Household and make your backyard a haven for native wildlife. You’ll also get:

–  a chance to win a $5000 backyard make over
–  your views aired on discussion boards
–  experts addressing your halo issues
–  access to pest trapping equipment
–  a Halo Household welcome pack and a Halo Household sticker

For more information and to sign up go to the Enhancing the Halo website.