Posts tagged with conservation

Our Far South: Roaring Forties, furious fifties and Screaming sixties…

  • tabular iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • ICeberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa

Heading south from Macquarie Island we have had some relatively calm seas, pretty remarkable for this part of the world. Leaving the Roaring Forties which gave us a pretty slow rolling sea the fifties gave us a small taste of what it had to offer with some mild five-metre seas. Passing past 60 degrees south was… Read more »

Our Far South: What it boils down to

  • Elephant seals and regenerating tussock. Victor Anderlini.
  • Elephant seals on the tussock flats. Victor Anderlini.
  • Aurora australis. Photo WWF.
  • King penguins surrounding the zodiac. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

We arrived at Macquarie Island - the sheltered waters in the lee of the island provided a welcome relief from the open ocean we had crossed between here and the Auckland Islands. The cool subantarctic summer did not detract from the spectacular wildlife – elephant seals and penguins everywhere! Until 1920 the elephant seals and penguins… Read more »

New Botany Display in Nature Space – informing you about topical conservation issues.

New Display, Nature Space Discovery Centre, Level 2, Te Papa; Photo: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

If you’ve visited Te Papa recently, and especially if you’ve brought children, you may have noticed some changes in the Nature Space Discovery Centre.  Part of this area was revamped in October to highlight the plight of wildlife affected by the RENA oil spill.  This month, I have been working with Melanie Dash, Nature Space Supervisor,… Read more »

Rare success – rediscovery of several bryophyte species

The moss Dicranoweisia spenceri on a branch of a beech tree, Tongariro area.  Photo Leon Perrie, © Te Papa.

Te Papa’s botanists made several significant finds during their explorations accompanying the recent Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop. Led by Research Associate Peter Beveridge and Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey, the moss Dicranoweisia spenceri was found in some abundance at the site we investigated within Tongariro National Park.  This is great news because this is only the… Read more »

How Te Papa contributes to plant conservation

A specimen of the moss Dicranoweisia spenceri in Te Papa’s collection. This species has a conservation ranking of “Data deficient”; that is, not enough is known about its occurrence to classify the level of threat it faces. © Te Papa.

In the next two weeks, some of Te Papa’s Botany staff will be looking for several poorly known mosses and liverworts. For instance, the moss Dicranoweisia spenceri was recorded more than 60 years ago from near Mount Ruapehu but it hasn’t been reported from there since – is it still there? We’re going to check…. Read more »

Practical conservation

  • The Manawatu Botanical Society, plus neighbour, strategising beforehand. Photo Graham Pritchard.
  • Pseudopanax ferox & botsoccers
  • Viv McGlynn. Photo Graham Pritchard.
  • The juvenile leaves of the Taihape population are a comparatively dark colour. This might be unique to the population. Photo Leon Perrie.

I first got into studying biodiversity because I wanted New Zealand’s plants and animals to be looked after better.  New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity is not in great shape. A lot of my research at Te Papa – describing new species, distinguishing and mapping different species, and determining how populations and species are related to one another… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – part 9

Hello Poedua followers!  Mel and I have taken a break from our treatment of Poedua for a while in order to focus on some other paintings conservation commitments. In the past two months we have been kept busy working on a loan of 23 paintings for the exhibition Painting New Zealand which is currently on display at Tauranga… Read more »

Riders of the storm – thousands of seabirds perish on New Zealand shores

  • TEPAPA_n457357_v1_Prion_Fig_7
  • Fig. 7. The calm before the storm – healthy broad-billed prions on Kundy Island, off Stewart Island, March 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly
  • TEPAPA_n457355_v1_Prion_Fig_6
  • Fig. 5. Beach-wrecked broad-billed prions, Paekakariki (Wellington west coast), 16 July 2011. Photo: Colin Miskelly

It started as a trickle and soon developed into a flood of devastating proportions. On 11 July 2011 I received an email enquiry from a family at Waikanae seeking help with identifying an unusual seabird that they had found dead on their driveway. It was a Salvin’s prion, a not-too-unexpected discovery near the coast during… Read more »

A petrel’s day at sea

  • Westland Petrel, endemic to New Zealand on its breeding ground. Photograph by D Filippi
  • Susan Waugh looking for petrels with burrowscope. Photograph by G Waugh
  • Prime petrel habitat, rugged coastal waters of Westland near Barrytown. Photograph by S Waugh
  • Measuring and weighing a petrel before logger deployment Susan Waugh and Megan Waugh. Photograph by G Waugh

The advent of GPS in cell-phones and car navigation systems has done a lot to render this technology accessible for a variety of users, devices are now only 10-20 g in weight, and can cost as little as $100 a piece. Satellite telemetry was first used to study flying birds in 1999 when 300 g… Read more »

Flower of the underworld

A plant of Dactylanthus taylorii, sitting amongst the leaf litter. It is not an especially striking sight when not flowering. Todd saw this population flowering this time last year. Photo Leon Perrie.

I’m just back from my first sighting of the “flower of the underworld”, Dactylanthus taylorii or pua o te reinga. This was a Manawatu Botanical Society trip, led by Todd McLay of Massey University, to see a nearby, accessible population. It was exciting to be shown Dactylanthus taylorii, which is a very odd plant! It is… Read more »