The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage visited Te Papa’s natural history collection today to make an announcement that will be widely celebrated by the museum sector, as well as by anyone who values and appreciates New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage as Curator Vertebrates Colin Miskelly explains.
In 2018, Curator Invertebrates Julia Kasper put out a call on Te Papa’s blog looking for enthusiastic code crackers to decipher Hudson’s handwritten collection records with her post, Help crack the insect code. Approximately 80 people contacted Te Papa and asked about more information and how they could help with the research, and now Julia is hoping for more volunteers.
What price are you willing to pay for food? For most of us, that’s a question about money. But what if the cost were actual pain, injury and death? For some seals and dolphins, this a real risk when hunting. David Hocking, Silke Cleuren and William Parker (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) and Felix Marx (Te Papa) took a close look at a New Zealand (or long-nosed) fur seal that stranded at Cape Conran in southeastern Australia, and discovered it had numerous severe facial injuries.
Our building may be closed, but Lara Shepherd takes us through the important work that the Natural History team are doing from home. What has the team been working on in their bubbles? How is collection management continuing with no access to the collection? And what’s on the menu for our flesh-eating beetles?
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions mean that much conservation work around New Zealand is on hold. But in a remote part of Fiordland, restoration efforts are continuing every night, regardless of access constraints, social distancing, and weather conditions. Te Papa vertebrates curator Colin Miskelly describes the pioneering efforts being made to attract seabirds back to Coal Island/Te Puka Hereka in Preservation Inlet.
In August last year a small green pigeon flew across the Tasman Sea – and into the history books. It became the first vagrant bird species to be intercepted at the New Zealand border and put down as a potential biosecurity risk. Te Papa bird expert Colin Miskelly tells the unfortunate story of New Zealand’s first rose-crowned fruit-dove.
Did you know there’s an endemic species of mosquito that exclusively occurs in New Zealand’s thermal pools? We don’t know much about this species, so in October and March, bug expert Julia Kasper made it her mission to find it – a mission that included a harness and a gas monitor, ʻin case of toxic gas eruptions’.