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We’ve put together our top five photography tips to help you capture stunning images of our native wildlife.

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Today’s photo of the week is of a native fern growing next to the Blue Pools on the West Coast of the South Island.

New Zealand is home to about 200 fern species, ranging from ten-metre-high tree ferns, to filmy ferns just 20 millimetres long. About 40% of these species occur nowhere else in the world.

Native fern growing by blue pools. Photo by Daniel Pietzsch | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Te Papa Museum is holding an online Science Live event this Friday (16 May) which will take viewers into the secret world of New Zealand’s ferns.

Botany curator, Leon Perrie, will be there to talk about our native fern species. Leon will also be answering questions during the live broadcast.

The event will be streaming live from 2—2:30 pm on the Te Papa YouTube channel.

Photo by Daniel Pietzsch | CC BY-NC 2.0

Today’s photo, of a Stewart Island tokoeka kiwi, celebrates Save Kiwi Week (14 – 20 October).

Tokoeka kiwi on Stewart Island.

Tokoeka – literally meaning “weka with a walking stick” (Ngai Tahu) has four geographically and genetically distinct forms—Haast, northern Fiordland, southern Fiordland and Stewart Island.

The Stewart Island tokoeka are unusual among kiwi for being active during the daytime, as you can see in this photo taken by Alina Thiebes.

Stewart Island/Rakiura is probably the easiest place to observe kiwi in the wild, where some 20,000 still survive.

You can find out more about Save Kiwi Week and how you can help to protect kiwi on the Kiwis for kiwi website.

New Zealand’s largest living kauri tree—Tāne Mahuta, Lord of the Forest—is this week’s photo of the week.

With such a majestic name, Tāne Mahuta is an apt choice for Māori Language Week, with its focus on ‘Ngā ingoa Māori, Māori names’.

Tāne Mahuta stands in Waipoua Forest in Northland and is thought to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.

Tane Mahuta, the kauri tree stands tall in a forest.

According to Maori mythology Tāne was the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother. Tāne was the child that separated his parents’ embrace, bringing light to the earth, and clothing his mother in the forest we have today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.

The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the North Auckland Peninsula.

This photo was taken by C S Jones.


Visit Waipoua Forest

The forests of Waipoua are the garden of Tane Mahuta. Waipoua, and the adjoining forests of Mataraua and Waima, make up the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland. Good walking tracks give easy access to the most spectacular attractions of the forest: the giant trees Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere and Yakas. Tramping tracks and routes are also available for those who wish to venture deeper into the forest, especially in the high plateau and ranges.

Learn more about visiting Waipoua

Send us your photos

If you have a great, conservation related photo you want to share with the world (or at least the readers of this blog) send it through to us at socialmedia@doc.govt.nz.

This week’s photo of the week was shared by Sirocco Kakapo, after the recent death of Fuchsia the kākāpō on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou:

Skraaarrk! We are now 124. Fuchsia kākāpō was as lovely as the native flower she was named after and I am so very sorry that she is no longer with us.

Three kotukutuku flowers hang from a branch at Catchpool, near Wellington. Photographer: Tandy, Brent.

The dazzling purple, green and pink colours of our native fuchsia, known as kotukutuku, have been captured beautifully in this photo. Taken at Catchpool, near Wellington, by Biodiversity Ranger Brent Tandy, it is a special reminder of the life and passing of a lovely old kākāpō.


Send us your photos

If you have a great, conservation related photo you want to share with the world (or at least the readers of this blog) send it through to us at socialmedia@doc.govt.nz.

Skraaarrrk!  You’ve probably already noticed that as the Spokesbird for Conversation I’ve been running a photo contest to celebrate people and parks for Conservation Week 2012.

Well, after a frenzied voting period on my Facebook page to get our top ten photos, my pal (and internationally recognised nature photographer extraordinaire) Rob Suisted has chosen the winner. Boom-roll please…

Winner

Congratulations Jill Hoffman from Invercargill!

Photo of three children tramping in the Iris Burn Valley, Kepler Track, Te Anau with a rainbow in the background.

Early morning in the Iris Burn Valley, Kepler Track, Te Anau

Rob says…

“To me this photo captures a great interaction with one of our National Parks and wild places – a beautiful location, well framed, lots of interest, great lighting and mood. Well done”

DOC says…

“The Kepler Track is a a great track for you and your family, especially if you love the outdoors, want an adventure with a bit of a physical challenge that is not too hard to get to and has excellent facilities. The scenery is just spectacular as evidenced by this beautiful photo. Good work Jill.”

So, a big boom to you Jill! You are the winner of the amazing Fiordland adventure.

Rob also chose two other photos that he thought deserved honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

Greta File, Napier

A beautiful early morning view from the long drop. A cold winter morning in the Kaweka forest is greeted by the early morning sun melting the frost atop of the Makino Hut.

A beautiful early morning view from the long drop. A cold winter morning in the Kaweka forest is greeted by the early morning sun melting the frost atop of the Makino Hut.

Rob says…

“I think this image has the strongest pure photographic qualities of the selection – It has strong composition, is bravely shot into the light, slightly mystical, and it doesn’t fully reveal its subject, there by allowing the viewer to ponder it.”

DOC Says…

Kaweka Forest is a backcountry park that offers everything from rafting, canoeing, and fishing to hot springs, hunting and tramping. An array of huts are on offer – like Makino Hut which has been gloriously captured by Greta in this shot”

Christel van Krieken, Gisborne

Harakeke in flower, Punakaiki; the gateway to Paparoa National Park.

Harakeke in flower, Punakaiki; the gateway to Paparoa National Park

Rob says…

“I liked the textures and colours with this. If the photographer had have lifted the camera a little the mid ground would have revealed itself more and given a stronger sense of depth, something that’s important when shooting in high sunlight in the middle of the day when less shadow reduces form to an image.”

DOC Says…

“Limestone cliffs and canyons, caves and underground streams, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, are all packed into Paparoa National Park. Paparoa’s luxuriant coastal forest is on display in this image from Christel.”

A corkboard with the other photos, in polaroid format, that made it in to the top ten.

The other photos that made it into the top ten of the photo contest

So, that’s the end of my competition, but that doesn’t mean we should stop enjoying New Zealand’s great parks. So keep taking those photos and share them with me.

Rob Suisted with a South Georgia elephant seal pup.

Rob Suisted with a South Georgia elephant seal pup resting on his legs

A big thanks to Rob for lending us his time and expert eye to help us find our winner. Rob has a passion for the parks and the wild places of New Zealand and was therefore a great choice to judge our contest.

Rob is an internationally respected wilderness and nature photographer. He has published many books and calendars, and his photos have featured on countless magazine covers.

Rob also runs a very successful image library of over 50,000 of his own NZ natural images. You can learn more about his work and view some of his beautiful photos on his site www.naturespic.com.