Southern Musings

Exploring the Catlins – New Zealanders playing as tourists – part 2

Stinkhorn fungi and flies, Catlins, Otago, NZ

Prior to this five day trip down the length of the coastline south of Dunedin known as the Catlins, my knowledge was limited to widely spaced out experiences such as an outdoor first aid course at the largest town Osaka, a school trip to a camp at Pounawea, a marvellous tramping and bushcraft training trip…

The SPCA’s anti-1080 policy isn’t just naive, it’s dangerous | The Spinoff

Dead stoat poisoned by 1080

I’ve known for years that the cost and logistics of managing and eventually eliminating the introduced predators that are killing off our native bird species is not possible with trapping alone, and that even if it was we would not have enough people in New Zealand to do the job, man, woman and children included,…

Exploring the Catlins – New Zealanders playing as tourists – part 1

Catlins Estuary sunset

While composing the first of three posts [too many photos for one] on this southern Otago coast-line what comes to mind is shipwrecks! This, because of spending an hour or two in the museum at Owaka, and if I recall correctly there have been dozens of them [an on-line search will easily bring up the…

Native bird numbers double during 20-year Department of Conservation pest control study – NZ Herald

Marks Flat

Since this was published in lots of local papers a few months back, now seems a good time to republish, given that since then we’ve seen new heights of unimagined hysteria regarding  how DOC and the Govt. continue to use 1080 successfully in vast areas of our landscape, that we can’t access easily, and even…

Freddy the fearless NZ falcon, and an update on the status of native birds in the West Matukituki Valley

NZ falcon

There are cautionary things to be learnt from being under a bird – things that can come back to haunt us from childhood: I was about four years old when hand-in-hand with my mother, like my hand in hers while my other held a flavoured and much savoured ice cream. All was good I recall,…