Flesh-footed Shearwater Surveys at Ohinau Island, Coromandel

  • DSC_0532_vsm
  • FFSW
  • Fishing vessel
  • GPS track of FFSW

Keeping track of our protected species populations and their distribution is one of the tasks of biologists, and this summer Te Papa scientists surveyed sites in the Mercury Islands group for seabird populations. Flesh-footed shearwaters Puffinus carneipes breed throughout northern New Zealand, with a total population size in New Zealand of about 10,000 to 15,000 pairs… Read more »

Calling volunteers to help make history!

Te Papa holds 41 diaries and nearly 7000 negatives and prints from Horowhenua farmer, photographer, tramper, geologist, archaeologist, ethnologist, son, brother, husband and father George Leslie Adkin. He wrote his diary daily for all 60 years of his adult life, from 1905 to 1964.   Help transcribe Leslie Adkin’s diaries This summer, we are running a small pilot… Read more »

Past and present fauna of Mt Owen, north-west Nelson

A speargrass weevil (Lyperobius clarkei) on an on the speargrass Aciphylla ferox speargrass.

As well as impressive plants, Mount Owen and the Marino Mountains are also zoologically interesting. The wet weather may have prevented us reaching the summit of Mount Owen but it did bring out the slugs and snails. We spotted a giant leaf-veined slug (Amphikonophora gigantea) beside the track on the lower flanks of the mountain…. Read more »

Snares Islands Flora – the ferns

  • Catchments sloping to the east on North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.
  • Bare substrate and titi / mutton bird burrows in Olearia lyallii forest, a common site on North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Underside of Asplenium scleroprium frond showing sori extending to lamina margins. Above Hoho Stream, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa
  • Asplenium scleroprium, above Hoho Stream, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa

This blog explores the fern flora of the Snares Islands/Tini Heke where I was one of four Te Papa Science staff to visit the islands in Nov-Dec 2013.  There are currently five recognised species of fern on the Snares Islands, the closest sub-antarctic island group to New Zealand. North East Island, the main island of the Snares… Read more »

Packed full of stunning pictures, detailed information and beautiful bird calls, NZ Birds Online is an online encyclopaedia of birds created in collaboration between Te Papa, DOC and OSNZ. We’re indebted to the photographers who’ve shared their images with us – and now the world! Joining us for our Meet the photographers series is Craig McKenzie, discussing the perils of too much tea whilst bird spotting…. Read more »

The fascinating flora of Mount Owen, north-west Nelson.

Aciphylla ferox (fierce speargrass) growing out of a marble fissure on the flanks of Mount Owen. Photo: Lara Shepherd.

Over the holidays I was fortunate to spend a few days botanising the Marino Mountains, including Mount Owen, in north-west Nelson’s Kahurangi National Park.  Kahurangi National Park  is one of the most botanically interesting regions in New Zealand. Nearly half of New Zealand’s native plant species and 80% of our alpine species are found there…. Read more »

Subantarctic forget-me-not adventures

  • Sealion pups at Sandy Bay, Enderby Island. Photo by Jessie Prebble
  • Yellow-eyed penguin showing us the track on Enderby Island. Photo by Jessie Prebble
  • Fields of Bulbinella rossii on Enderby Island. Photo by Jessie Prebble
  • Myosotis antarctica on Mt Azimuth, Campbell Island. Definitely not a mega-herb! Photo by Jessie Prebble

From the 23rd-30th of December 2013 I was given the opportunity to join Rodney Russ and his team at Heritage Expeditions on board the Spirit of Enderby for a week long adventure to the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands. Link to the Heritage Expeditions website with information about their scholarship The Heritage Expedition Trust awards several… Read more »

Meet the photographers of NZ Birds Online #5

  • Immature Nankeen night heron. Wanganui, June 2012. Photographer: Ormond Torr © Ormond Torr, courtesy NZ Birds Online.
  • New Zealand pigeon in display flight. Wanganui, December 2007. Photographer: Ormond Torr © Ormond Torr, courtesy NZ Birds Online.
  • Adult swamp harrier in flight. Wanganui, January 2011. Photographer: Ormond Torr © Ormond Torr, courtesy NZ Birds Online.
  • Adult spotted shag in breeding plumage, in profile. Wanganui, August 2008. Photographer: Ormond Torr © Ormond Torr, courtesy NZ Birds Online.

Happy New Year to you all! How was your summer birding? The NZ Birds Online team have been out and about enjoying the flora and fauna of New Zealand. Colin was lucky enough to get to Snares Island to see some of the subterranean avian inhabitants. We’re continuing our Meet the photographers series - as ever, we’re indebted to the photographers… Read more »

Tai Tamariki Kindergarten explore the Aztecs

Max, age 4.Creating his diorama with a mirror 'river', magazine cut outs, fabric, and hand drawn 'God of Death'.Photographer: Tai Tamariki, © Tai Tamariki

This blog provides an excellent opportunity not only for us to share with you, but  for you to share with each other. How do you use our museum as a learning resource? What do you find to be best practice? Why are museum and gallery experiences important for your tamariki? This story comes from ngā kaiako (teachers), Maiangi and… Read more »