Hauturu - Spineless wonders

I have written about what a haven Te Hauturu-o-Toi is for native birds, plants and reptiles. It is also a haven for over 500 of our native invertebrates and that is only the ones that have been found and identified there. There could well be that many...... Read More

Bellbird sightings welcome

The arrival of hihi (stitchbirds) at Shakespear Open Sanctuary last month (HM July 1) means that all three of New Zealand’s honeyeaters are now in residence, the other two being tuis and the korimako (bellbird). Tuis are a regular feature on the...... Read More

Environment - Roadside rights

Winter is on its way out, but the nights are still cool, and across the country fires are keeping families warm and houses cosy. But firewood is expensive and it burns quickly on cold nights. So, out on rural roads, resourceful people with chainsaws and...... Read More

The slater puzzle

The next time you are at the beach at low tide have a look in some of the little rock pools and you are likely to see a unique NZ creature. Even though this animal is abundant and only occurs in New Zealand, it surprisingly does not have a common name,...... Read More

Matariki a positive sign

In ages past, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens. Those eyes became Matariki....... Read More

TOSSI - Plight of the kōkopu

The plight of a few native freshwater fish will mean different things to different people, and it can be difficult for us to consider another person’s – or a fish’s – perspective. New Zealand’s giant kōkopu population is...... Read More

Environment - Space invaders

New Zealanders are rushing to book domestic holidays as we come out of lockdown but not out of border controls. Usual holidays overseas are thwarted. The absence of international travel gives Kiwis an opportunity and an impetus to discover their country...... Read More

Sanctuary still a safe haven

The world outside the sanctuary has changed dramatically in the last few months, but not that much changed inside it. The lockdown meant that all volunteering stopped and rangers were constrained in what they could do, but fortunately predators missed...... Read More

All you need is binoculars

I love our winter skies! New Zealand, in particular, boasts very clean air which provides fantastic opportunities for star gazing. And there is so much to see! If you go outside around 10pm and look towards the east, you will notice two bright stars,...... Read More

Environment - Love a duck

Every May, the mallard ducks return to my valley, doing the rounds between my garden through to the neighbours’ ponds and pools. Mallards are homebodies. Research from the New Zealand Fish and Game Council concerning the tagging of mallards found...... Read More