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From the rugged west coast beaches, to the majestic kauri forest and the picture-perfect white sand vistas, Northland is a draw card for nature and summer lovers. Wherever your Northland adventure may take you, follow these tips to help protect our taonga.

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Braydon Moloney took up a Science Communication Fiordland Film Scholarship with DOC at the end of last year.

Braydon Moloney.

Aspiring wildlife documentary maker, Braydon Moloney

This offered the University of Otago student—studying for his Masters in Natural History Filmmaking at the Centre for Science Communication—support in the making of a conservation themed film.

His 25 minute documentary “Pest Free?” is due to premier in Dunedin in early November.

It addresses the question, “can New Zealand become pest free?” and looks at what it means to be pest free, what’s currently being done, and where the future is headed.

Today we have the privilege of checking out a short “demo reel” for the film.

Applications for the Science Communication Fiordland Film Scholarship are always welcome. 

The support offered is negotiable on receipt of an application. It may include: covering costs associated with accompanying DOC field trips, accommodation and other travel expenses; general logistical support, including interviews and technical information; and exclusive footage opportunities.

For further information, please contact Caroline Carter.

A $1.5 million plan to turn Great Mercury Island into a pest-free wildlife sanctuary was revealed this week.

To profile this announcement we’ve chosen this photo—taken at sunset in Peach Tree Cove, on Great Mercury Island—for our ‘Photo of the Week’.

Sunset on Great Mercury Island.  Photo: Nev10 (cc)

Great Mercury Island (also known as Ahuahu) is owned by Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite. It is located off the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula (seen in the distance in this photo) and is one of seven islands that make up the Mercury Islands. The other six islands are DOC-managed nature reserves.

Photo by Neville10/flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

This has got to be the best office in the world!!!!

The sunrise view of South East Bay from my bunk

I’ve just spent a week with 14 other staff, four volunteers and two owners on Tuhua (Mayor) Island.  Whilst the view of the sunrise from my bunk each morning was a great way to start each day, it was certainly no holiday. 

Each day we loaded our gear and set off on a range of tasks all over the island, returning at the end of day to eat and fall into bed, exhausted but excited to have made a dent in the long list of jobs we had to complete.

Our hard work was rewarded by regular sightings of rare birds, plants, lizards and marine mammals.  Here are just a few of the locals that we saw.

We’ve been working in partnership with the owners (Tuhua Trust Board) for many years to restore the pest-free island and now we’re helping them to make it more accessible for people to enjoy.

I spent three days with our botanist and weed specialists spraying and searching for weeds all over the island, including one day of wading through a wetland, pushing through head-high walls of vegetation in search of the invasive royal fern.  

Spray unit loaded and off to spray weeds

The wetland we waded through

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last day was spent helping to fix the floor of the caretakers cottage and shifting firewood.

Eveyone’s skills and expertise were used around the island – upgrading buildings, tracks, water supply, removing massive fallen pohutukawa logs from where they had fallen on top of buildings, cleaning up the ammentity areas, killing weeds, patrolling the Marine Reserve, searching for springs in preparation for our orange-front parakeet transfer coming up in December and checking on the pateke (brown teal) and kiwi that have been released on the island.

Rope & chainsaw skills got put to the test

Dave checked out a cliffside kiwi nest

Chris and John fixed the floor

Tawara cleared the track

Dean & Alastair built a huge firewood pile

As inviting as the water looked, I only managed one swim – the cool water and 2m shark we saw swimming in the bay on our first evening were a little off-putting.  But when I did get wet, I took mask & snorkel with me and got to see some beautiful kelp beds, big angel fish and incredibly glossy obsidian.

Click here to find out how you could visit Tuhua – Tauranga’s piece of paradise.