Archives For Sanctuary

Today’s photo of the week is of a pod of playful dusky dolphins showing off their acrobatic skills near the Kaikoura coast.

Dusky dolphins off the Kaikoura coast. Photo: Bernd Plonderer.

Plans for a new marine reserve, whale and fur seal sanctuary, five customary fishing areas and amateur fishing regulations for Kaikoura’s coast and ocean were announced over the weekend.

This area is the most biologically rich ocean over 500 metres deep anywhere in the world, because of its deep canyon so close to shore.

It is hoped that these new marine protections and management tools will be in place by 2015.

This photo was taken by Bernd Plonderer | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

By Rob Griffiths, Community Relations Ranger, Rotorua.

Just over a year ago, inspired by a Te Arawa Lakes Trust initiative, a small project team was formed with the ultimate goal of providing a sanctuary for koaro, a little native fish, in the upper reaches of Hamurana Springs near Rotorua.

The initial focus was on constructing a weir across the stream to help exclude trout, and then later to remove the trout from the upstream side of the spring.

A kaora being held over a bucket

Check out this little sucker

Projects that happen in streams, rivers or lakes around the Rotorua region are never simple! Generally you need resource consent from the regional council, approval from Te Arawa Lakes Trust (as they manage the beds), local iwi require consultation, and often approval is needed from Fish & Game and NIWA. Rather than going through the motions and pushing on alone, a working group that included all the associated organisations was formed and this collective expertise and commitment proved invaluable to the project.

Wading near the Hamurana Spring trout barrier.

Hamurana Spring trout barrier

DOC Ranger Kristina Thompson has been involved since the outset. She felt it was important to involve as many of the relevant organisations as possible as partners in the project. Their approval is one thing, but having them on board as partners in the project brought the added benefit of their skills and knowledge.

The weir is simple in design and construction, having a slightly sloped downstream side to allow koaro to climb, and a grate to repel trout from jumping over. A distinguishing feature of koaro is their ability to climb up very steep surfaces such as waterfalls, dams and even white-baiters’ buckets.

Wader training for iwi helpers.

Iwi wader training

To date, Kristina has been both surprised and delighted with the results of the project. It is the first structure of its kind in the Bay of Plenty and so far the results have been positive. Recent monitoring of koaro above the weir shows that numbers of koaro have sky rocketed, and the waterways they are now found are much more dispersed than previously reported.

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.

Thanks to the efforts of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust the island’s Haast tokoeka kiwi are kept safe from predators.

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