World’s rarest wading bird the kakī / black stilt gets new lease on life

Black Stilts

Exciting News Today – kakī New Zealand’s black stilt, has been granted funds to help secure the population status of the worlds rarest wader. Juvenile kakī following release at Tasman Delta, Nov 2016 (Photo by Rachel Hufton) Finally, the Twizel Recovery Centre can begin to increase its capacity for hatching, rearing chicks and releasing juveniles…

Saving the critically threatened southern New Zealand dotterel

Southern dotterel New Zealand

Rachel Hufton of Illuminate Ecology, reports following a cannon netting bird banding trip at Awarua Bay, Invercargill, an important wintering site for the South Island New Zealand dotterel. A Nationally Critical Threatened Species of conservation concern. above: South Island dotterel with South Island pied oystercatcher and a bar-tailed godwit at high tide roost site, Awarua…

Today’s News: New Zealand native birds in a desperate situation, says Environment Commissioner

takahe

Today a very timely report was released by Parliamentary Commissioner for the environment. Dr Jan Wright. It follows on from a very succinct series of non political reports including the use of 1080 poison to help our birds: In a new report, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says New Zealand’s native birds are in a desperate situation.…

Snow in May does not stay, so old time skiers in Wanaka say

Fitting chains in the Cardrona Valley

Mountain Landscapes of late

Tor and rainbow, Central Otago

Immersion in solitude, awareness of self, quietness of the spirit, and sometimes the odd challenge – all these and more are there in our mountain landscapes, just waiting to be seen, and better yet felt. Sometimes we’re so goal driven and yet whatever it was sometimes gets replaced: to get past stinging rain in the…

“The Boss” and Edwin – a tale of two kea in Mt Aspiring National Park

A few weeks ago I was involved in the capture and subsequent banding of a young kea. Probably a male, but that is not a certainty with any youngster. At the time while recording the banding with a camera, I was struck on how he took being held in his stride, and when relaxed started…

New Zealand’s alpine parrot the kea, has the beak and has the brain, but that’s not enough

NZ juvenile kea

New Zealand’s alpine parrot cuts right across the aloofness of a landscape and weather that takes no prisoners, greeting us with life and curiosity that never fails to get us smiling; a feathered and garrulous court jester of our mountains. The birds decline in numbers to under 5000 has been due to an historic century-long…

Bonding with a bird of the night ~ the ruru (morepork) is associated with the spirit world of the Māori…

morepork / ruru

A few weeks ago while sitting with one of my friendly companion kea outside Aspiring Hut enjoying the balmy evening with a cuppa and many moths, a dark shadow appeared about a meter off the ground winging towards my face. We all three of us shared a mutual silence while I processed how come another…

The goal of a predator free New Zealand may sit uneasily with global warming and ensuing climate change

Glengyle, Mt Aspiring National Park

This site/blog seems to have an organic destiny, and somewhere along a way lined with a steady growth of followers, I’ve not bothered much to publish my own photos, so here today I’ll use a few of my recent favourites made in the last two weeks to illustrate the need for an awakening, and action.…

An overview of efforts to encourage native bird population numbers between Mt Aspiring and Wanaka, New Zealand.

Matukituki Trust members

top: Members of the Matukituki Trust planning trapping operations at Aspiring Hut 10 days ago Many of you know that I’ve been involved with many others giving native bird populations a leg up via the Matukituki Trust for the last 4 or so years. Progress has been very steady and positive due a good base plan…

Race to protect the Pupū Springs near Nelson

Ducks at Pupu Springs

More properly named the Te Waikoropupū Springs, they’re the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured this side of Antarctica’s near-frozen Weddell Sea, with a visibility of 63 metres. Antarctica aside the water clarity is in fact…

Black petrels (Taiko) return to Great Barrier Island (Aotea) natal colony ~ Rachel Hufton, Ecologist reports…

Male Black Petrel

Mt   Hobson   (Hirakimata) on Great  Barrier Island  at   621m,   is home to the largest breeding colony of black   petrel   (Taiko)   Procellaria  parkinsoni. The  geologically and ecologically captivating slopes of Mt Hobson comprise semi-mature forest with remnants of ancient and precious  conifer forest.  The woodland assemblage combines endemics such…

Robins flourish, dawn chorus returns to the Mt Aspiring National Park | Stuff.co.nz

South Island robins

Over the last few months I’ve often posted about the work being done in the West Matukituki Valley [home of Aspiring Hut] in Mt Aspiring National Park. Two of the key players are my old friends Stu and Heather Thorne, and I’m delighted here to repost an article by local journo Marjorie Cook of stuff.co.nz…

New Zealand’s clean green image – a couple of points of view

New Zealand's clean green image personified in the Strath Taieri

New Zealand’s clean green image personified in the Strath Taieri ~ photo Southern Light For the third summer running now in Mt Aspiring National Park, I interact with many tourists intent on being the overseas equivalent of a New Zealand tramper. Most know our “Clean Green” marketing ploy is not what it seems, and that…

Fatal attraction: ferret stench to fight pests

stoat killed by 1080 in Mt Aspiring National Park

  A stoat killed by 1080 in Mt Aspiring National Park two years ago ~ photo southernlight.co.nz New Zealand’s imported predator the stoat, is quite an amazing animal, somewhat beautiful too, until you look at it’s claws and teeth! They have a very fast metabolism, thus needing constant snacks, and they don’t live to a…