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ISSUE 346 • NOVEMBER 2012 www.forestandbird.org.nz

The kiwi we almost lost

PLUS

Vision for our rivers

Kids in the Kermadecs

Show sharks some love


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ISSUE 346

• November 2012

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. General Manager: Mike Britton Advocacy Manager: Kevin Hackwell Services Manager: Julie Watson North Island Conservation Manager: Mark Bellingham South Island Conservation Manager: Chris Todd Communications Manager: Marina Skinner Central Office: Level 1, 90 Ghuznee St, Wellington. PO Box 631, Wellington 6140. Tel: (04) 385-7374, Fax: (04) 385-7373 Email: office@forestandbird.org.nz Web: www.forestandbird.org.nz Auckland Office: 34A Charlotte Street, Eden Terrace. Auckland, PO Box 108 055, Symonds St, Auckland 1150. Tel: (09) 302-0203, Fax: (09) 303-4548 Email: n.beveridge@forestandbird.org.nz Christchurch Office: Unit 4/Level 1, 245 St Asaph Street, Christchurch. PO Box 2516, Christchurch 8140. Tel: (03) 940-5522 Email: c.todd@forestandbird.org.nz Forest & Bird is a registered charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005. Registration No. CC26943.

Tiaki Taiao www.forestandbird.org.nz

Contents 2 Editorial 4 Letters 5 50 years ago 7 Conservation news

46 Our people

Al Fleming, Donald Lamont, Muriel Fisher, Margaret Neilson, Nicola Toki, Aalbert Rebergen

Cover story

22

Sharks under attack

5 kiwi that saved a species Let’s stop shark finning

28

Soapbox Nature of tomorrow Amazing facts about…

mistletoe

34

Park the Mökihinui

36

Pacific watch

38

Backyard conservation

News from our Pacific neighbours Attracting beneficial insects to your garden

Our partners

The Co-operative Bank EDITOR: Marina Skinner

PO Box 631, Wellington. T (04) 801-2761 F (04) 385-7373 E m.skinner@forestandbird.org.nz ART DIRECTOR /DESIGNER:

Rob Di Leva, Dileva Design E rob@dileva.co.nz

42 Rangatahi

Lessons from the Kermadecs

44 Thank you… Fresh view of Buller’s birds

ADVERTISING:

Karen Condon T 0275 420 338 E mack.cons@xtra.co.nz Membership & Circulation T 0800 200 064 F (04) 385-7373 E membership@forestandbird.org.nz

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A Christmas gift for nature

54

In the field

56

Nature at night

58

Going places

60

Community conservation

64

Book reviews

67

Parting shot

68

Year index

Facebook photo competition winners

Bay of Plenty shorebirds, badges for Mäui’s dolphins, DJ planting, Arethusa Reserve, Hutton’s shearwater welcome, historic Nelson award, KCC fungus fun Craig Potton New Zealand, Where to Find Birds in Far North New Zealand, Exploring Aotearoa: Short walks to reveal the Mäori landscape, Wildflowers of New Zealand, Landmarks of New Zealand

A new edition of a historic book KEEP UP WITH NATURE

PREPRESS/PRINTING:

Printlink

Our greatest rivers

The value of Water Conservation Orders

Spotted shag and white heron by Brett Robertson

from Kiwi battlers

45

50

Papaitonga Scenic Reserve

Lasting protection for the Mökihinui River

41

Observations

Graeme Hill on why he enjoyed the Rena disaster

Nesting instinct

Te Awaroa – lifeline for a nation

33

49

Six special species

Shifting ground

30

Proud to be a member

Adrian Muller

Mackenzie win, Denniston fight, Bird of the Year, Mining Cobb Valley, Birdman competition, Te Urewera new path, In brief, Mäui’s dolphins threats, West Coast wetlands, 90th anniversary

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Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ ForestandBird

Watch us on YouTube www.youtube.com/ forestandbird

Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ Forest_and_Bird

Sign up to Forest & Bird eNews Fresh conservation news delivered to your inbox 6 times a year. Go to www.forestandbird.org.nz COVER SHOT A little spotted kiwi at Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience in Wellington. www.visitzealandia.com Photo: Tom Lynch


editorial

Protecting opportunity or limiting our future I

recently had the good fortune to visit Raoul Island, the tip of an immense underwater volcano and New Zealand’s northernmost territory. Raoul was visited by Polynesian voyagers, and in the 19th century settled and farmed by Europeans. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time but distance, climate and economic downturns led to the failure of these enterprises. Now, thanks to decades of hard work, Raoul is free of animal pests, weeds are almost under control and a marine reserve protects a nearly pristine ecosystem. Forest & Bird supports a campaign to extend marine protection to the chain of underwater volcanoes around the Kermadec Islands, but the government has not acted because of its determination to protect “economic opportunity”: to wit, the potential for seabed mining.  The government is now explicitly putting economic development before conservation and environmental protection. While debate has focused on the environmental downsides – such as mining conservation land – there has been little examination of whether sacrificing our environment for this kind of growth is the right economic and social strategy for New Zealand.  A key issue is whether an economic strategy based on promoting resource extraction industries will create the number and kind of jobs New Zealand needs to raise incomes and reduce inequality and poverty. I have my doubts. These industries are capital intensive and employ a relatively small number of highly skilled people. Yes, the government will receive more royalties, but the greatest economic benefit will be accrued by the shareholders of these mostly foreign-owned companies.  This isn’t an academic issue. The Children’s Commissioner recently estimated that as many as 270,000 New Zealand children grow up in or near poverty. It is unlikely an economic strategy based on supporting capital-intensive resource-extraction industries will create the tens of thousands of jobs needed to lift these families out of hardship. On top of this, New Zealand will be locked into a carbon-intensive future – surely a mistake as temperatures rise and we watch the Arctic melt.  An alternative, as brilliantly expressed by the late Sir Paul Callaghan, is to support creative people to build businesses in the technology, manufacturing and knowledge industries. Sir Paul noted that our top 100 technology companies already export $5 billion per annum, and he argued that doubling or quadrupling this economic activity would make us a richer country without sacrificing our environment.  Supporting the development of an ecologically sustainable economy is one of Forest & Bird’s long-term aims. Economic decisions made now will have a huge impact on our natural environment and society in the future and it’s important that they are robustly debated.

Ngä mihi nui

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. (Founded 1923) Registered Office at Level One, 90 Ghuznee Street, Wellington. PATRON: His Excellency

Lieutenant General the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GovernorGeneral of New Zealand NATIONAL PRESIDENT:

Andrew Cutler DEPUTY PRESIDENT:

Mark Hanger NATIONAL TREASURER:

Graham Bellamy CONSERVATION AMBASSADORS:

Sir Alan Mark, Gerry McSweeney, Craig Potton EXECUTIVE COUNCILLORS:

Brent Barrett, Lindsey Britton, Craig Potton, Ines Stager, Barry Wards, John Wenham DISTINGUISHED LIFE MEMBERS:

Bill Ballantine, Stan Butcher, Ken Catt, Linda Conning, Audrey Eagle, Alan Edmonds, Gordon Ell, Stewart Gray, Philip Hart, Joan Leckie, Hon. Sandra LeeVercoe, Peter Maddison, Sir Alan Mark, Gerry McSweeney, Margaret Peace, Eugenie Sage, Guy Salmon, Lesley Shand, Gordon Stephenson, David Underwood

Forest & Bird is published quarterly by the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. Forest & Bird is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and is the New Zealand partner of BirdLife International. • Opinions expressed by contributors in the magazine are not necessarily those of Forest & Bird.

Andrew Cutler Forest & Bird President

Andrew Cutler, right, with Dave at Denham Bay, Raoul Island. Dave is one of the dedicated volunteers working to clear Raoul Island of weeds. When on the mainland, he manages the pest control operations for a kiwi sanctuary on the Coromandel.

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Forest & Bird is printed on elemental chlorine-free paper made from FSC® certified wood fibre and pulp sourced from responsibly managed forests. • The magazine is bulk mailed in biodegradable cellulose film, which is made from wood pulp sourced from managed plantations. • Registered at PO Headquarters, Wellington, as a magazine. ISSN 0015-7384. Copyright. All rights reserved.


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letters Forest & Bird welcomes your feedback on conservation topics. Please send letters up to 200 words, with your name, home address and daytime phone number. We don’t always have space to publish all letters or publish them in full. The best contribution to the Letters page of the February issue will win a copy of Craig Potton New Zealand (Craig Potton Publishing, $79.99). Please send letters to Editor, Forest & Bird magazine, PO Box 631, Wellington 6140 or e-mail m.skinner@forestandbird.org.nz by December 1.

Silvereye garden visitors Silvereyes come down from Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont in Taranaki every winter when the snow is down to the tree line. They all arrive one day in late August, and in September they vanish. When it warms up a bit, they head off back to the tree line. Here one day, gone the next. They go around the neighbours and every year we all watch them and feed them. The feeders are a very simple thing. We use the fat off an ox’s heart and melt it in a two-litre or three-litre milk container. We cut up the bottle and set it up outside our kitchen window. We also put out speckled apples in one of those things you wind cables around, cut in half. There are about 30 silvereyes and they just go crazy. They are very busy little fellows, fighting, hanging upside down or just waiting. They put on a beautiful display when feeding on the fat and apples. We also feed eight greenfinches that live in the area. These birds enjoy the meals with the silvereyes.

Students stand up for eels As part of a science integrated unit, Room 9 students at Pahïatua School have been learning about New Zealand’s unique native eel and the current exploitation of it being commercially fished and sold as pet food overseas (we watched the Campbell Live TV broadcast of the eel being harvested for pet food). We were also lucky enough to visit Pükaha Mount Bruce to observe and feed these majestic creatures. Room 9 has extensively studied the eel and during our research we came across a petition to help save them on the Forest & Bird website. Students took petitions around the school, home and community and became very passionate about Lifeline for Longfins. Enclosed are our petitions. We look forward to hearing from you any news about the longfin eel and whether we have made a difference. Lara Pierey, teacher of year 5/6 students, Pahïatua School This letter is the winner of Science on Ice: Discovering the secrets of Antarctica. Thank you very much, Room 9 students, for your interest in longfin eels and your hard work collecting signatures for the Lifeline for Longfins petition. Forest & Bird is working with Manaaki Tuna group and is still collecting signatures for the petition at www. forestandbird.org.nz We will let you know when we are ready to present the petition to the government. – Editor

John and Jackie Hall, Häwera

Costs and benefits Dr Gareth Morgan believes that cost/benefit analysis should be the basis of all green solutions (August Forest & Bird). Conservationists have to be realistic and recognise when the cost of conservation outweighs the benefit. For conservationists, however, some ecosystems are either so threatened or so unique that cost/benefit analysis is irrelevant. This whole argument was thrashed out in the big campaigns of the 1960s between rival environmental organisations. Forest & Bird members now generally deny that cost/ benefit analysis is useful in coming to conservation decisions. Eric Bennett, Berwickshire, Scotland

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Diabetic sparrows

Curly solution to pests

In Conservation news (May Forest & Bird), the 2011 New Zealand Garden Bird Survey was analysed. It mentioned that “some house sparrows were, unusually, spotted drinking from sugar-water feeders”. I have been putting sugar-water feeders out for tüï and silvereyes during winter months for a number of years. I was surprised last winter and this winter to see sparrows not only guzzling sugar water but pecking at half-peeled apples also put out for nectar and fruit-eating birds. The sparrows have their own seed supply in feeders so I wonder why they are switching food preference and whether I might end up with unhealthy, obese, diabetic house sparrows.

We are doing predator control in the Omori-Kuratau area. We have had an enormous problem with mice eating the lures in our DOC 200 traps and have tried many different ways of defeating these beasties. The film canister works but we felt that there was not enough aroma with this. One of our volunteers, Graham Pilet, came up with the idea of using plastic hair curlers. We place the lure on a nail, then ram a curler over the top (no 23 pink curlers from the $2 Shop at $2 for 10). We have trialled this idea for a few weeks and the baits are remaining in great order and we are catching rats and stoats. I hope this might be helpful for your trappers.

Sue Fitchett, Waiheke Island

Russell Shaw, Omori Kuratau Pest Management Group

Garden Bird Survey organiser Eric Spurr replies: House sparrows normally eat seeds such as wheat, barley, cocksfoot and fat-hen, so initially I was surprised by reports from some participants in the Garden Bird Survey of them drinking sugar water. However, on checking The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand and searching the international literature, I discovered that house sparrows have been reported robbing nectar from flowers. Such opportunistic nectarivory, as it is called, usually occurs when nectar or, in this case, sugar water, is abundant and normal foods, such as seeds, are scarce. Sue provided seeds for house sparrows, so seed scarcity could not have been the reason for them drinking sugar water in her garden. I also noted in the literature that house sparrows have been reported attacking grapes, cherries and other ripening fruit so their eating half-peeled apples should not be unexpected. The incidence of house sparrows eating sweet foods seems to be rare and perhaps a learned behaviour by some local birds, so I don’t think they risk becoming unhealthy, obese or diabetic!

50 years ago

WINNING MEMBERS The winners of the draws in the August edition of Forest & Bird are: Magellan GPS: Tony Southern, Titahi Bay. Kiwi: A natural history: Maureen Burgess, Te Puke, and B A Reid, Feilding. Your prizes will be posted.

Reserves are national assets Our great national parks are to be preserved in their natural state for all time so far as that is possible – natural gems of unsurpassed beauty in which people can find inspiration and enjoyment, incomparable recreational areas in the truest sense of the words. Our population continues to increase – it must do so. Almost without doubt it will double within the next forty years. Five million residents should have much more leisure time, transport will be much faster, mountain tops will be a matter of minutes away, and every national park will be needed. Moreover, with Britain and the United States only one day’s journey away from New Zealand, our scenic gems will become important as tourist attractions and will help us to balance our payments overseas. Natural playgrounds such as the Marlborough Sounds call for action, and plans should be made to ensure that their potential value to the nation shall not be ruined because of indifference or lack of foresight. Forest & Bird, November 1962

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letters Mökihinui dam understated

Possum trap adapted

I appreciate the warm words of thanks from Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton regarding the Mökihinui campaign (August Forest & Bird). I would like to point out that Meridian’s dam was going to be 105 metres-plus high, not 85m. This was an obfuscation created by Meridian Energy, probably to reduce opposition to the dam. According to the International Commission on Large Dams, the true height of a dam must include the foundations, which Meridian cleverly often omitted in community relations and in the original Assessment of Environmental Effects. The fact that it was 105m-plus (“plus” because bedrock was never found in the river barge drilling programme, which went to 20m below river level) puts it in the realm of very large dams, that is dams considered capable of inducing earthquakes. The Mökihinui dam was modelled on the Koyna dam in India. Koyna dam sustained serious cracking and seepage in the 1967 6.5 earthquake, classified as induced. The earthquake caused much human misery.

A friend of mine has a garden afflicted with possums. Unfortunately, due to an arthritic condition, she is unable to set a Timms trap. I made her a device to put the trap into. A cord is hooked to the cord on the trap, which is then set by gently winding on the handles. To extract a dead possum the procedure is repeated. The photo shows the trap fully set. Brian Reid, Feilding

Frida Inta, Mökihinui

Nature’s future looking poor In the August Forest & Bird we asked for comments about Forest & Bird’s Face up to the Future conference. Maryann Ewers and Bill Rooke, of Motueka, responded: We have just read the 1995 Forest & Bird annual report and nothing much has really changed. Yes, there were many wins for conservation back then, such as the stopping of logging on public land, and just as important victories, such as the Möhikinui in recent times, but we are today at a cross roads in conservation history. If we don’t start to get it right now, we may well look back at this time with deep regret. Our biodiversity is teetering on the brink of collapse and we don’t have time to pussyfoot around with Dr Gareth Morgan and his high-minded criticism of so-called greenies and tree huggers, or Al Morrison, as a government mouthpiece, with stupid statements such as the government health budget couldn’t solve our conservation woes. The money is there, the expertise is there. The problem is who has control? Forget 100% Pure or clean and green. There’s nothing left to live up to. We’ve long missed the boat. The current DOC budget is less than 0.5 per cent of total government expenditure. Forest & Bird should be focusing on pushing for a fully funded DOC and starting on a campaign to inform voters that if this government keeps on its current road (which it will) then what lies ahead is frightening. Forest & Bird has to get more political. We are at a crisis point. New Zealand is not broke. Fifty per cent of our wealth is controlled by 10 per cent of the population. The problem is how it’s distributed. $375,000 was recently spent on a hut and staff quarters at Perry Saddle on the Heaphy Track and the same is being repeated at the Heaphy River mouth and in other locations around the country. The Perry Saddle building is not a hut – it’s more like an upmarket backpackers or a motel. New 6

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Zealand has one of the best hut and track systems in the world yet most tourists and New Zealanders hardly use it. It has long been known by the Tourism Board and DOC that the vast majority of visitors from overseas who venture on to the DOC estate go no further than a day walk, so why are we spending a fortune on hut and track infrastructure, year after year, while at the same time slashing funding to DOCs biodiversity wing? During almost 20 years of working in tourism and conservation on the DOC estate, we have witnessed the slow demise of our precious wildlife as DOC builds on its bizarre visitor assets. We have it back to front. The private sector, through corporate funding and volunteer groups, should be encouraged into construction and maintenance of huts, bridges etc, under strict DOC guidelines. If that fails, so be it. A mansion in the bush or a bridge is not going to save our whio or kiwi. Put up a tent, ford the stream or stay out of the wilderness. A fully public funded scientific biodiversity wing in DOC is the only way we will save what’s left, and that means a massive increase in 1080 usage as apposed to privately funded trapping groups nibbling around the edges. Private sector help should be welcomed but the message the public is currently getting is that it’s going to solve the problem. If Dr Morgan and others like him, with their trade-off philosophy, are given enough airtime, the fickle New Zealand public will buy into it. The same applies to Mr Morrison, as John Key’s mouthpiece. There are too many issues relating to our environment and conservation to attempt to list in this letter. If the present government is returned at the next election, we may well be past the tipping point. Forest & Bird has to become more political. We are long past the days of compromise. The situation is that bad.


conservation

news

Win for Mackenzie’s native plants T

he Waitaki district’s rural landowners will be watched more closely before they can clear native plants on their high-country land after Forest & Bird took a case to the High Court. Forest & Bird asked for a judicial review of the decision by Waitaki District Council to grant a certificate of compliance to corporate farmer Five Rivers – which wants to introduce controversial cubicle dairy farming to the Mackenzie Basin. The certificate authorised activities that would clear native vegetation over several thousand hectares, in breach of the district plan’s indigenous vegetation clearance rule. The council had failed to check what plant life was on the land. The council argued it didn’t have to satisfy itself about native vegetation – it was required to take the applicant’s word for it. Justice Christine French in August ruled that the council could not simply take a farmer’s word that no native vegetation was on his or her land, and that proper evidence should have been required in the form of a quantitative botanical survey. Forest & Bird lawyer Sally Gepp said: “We are extremely pleased that the court confirmed what we already knew the law required. A certificate of compliance is a deemed resource consent, and councils must know – before granting these certificates – what they are authorising. In this case, this means having an ecologist survey the site’s indigenous vegetation.” Despite its history of pastoral farming, the Mackenzie and Ömarama basins still have important indigenous vegetation and habitat. When inspected, Five Rivers’ moraine and outwash plains to the south of Lake Öhau were found to have native brooms, tussocks, sedges, scabweeds, lichens and mosses. Physical disturbance for crop production or irrigation for dairy farming would destroy the native plants of this naturally dry area within months. Unfortunately, Justice French did not agree with Forest & Bird that irrigation is a form of vegetation clearance under the district plan. Five Rivers has more legal hurdles to jump before it can begin intensive farming. The company still needs regional council consent to take water for irrigation. Environment Canterbury turned down the application due to its likely adverse effects but Five Rivers has appealed this decision.

Forest & Bird is opposing Five Rivers’ appeal and will argue that the irrigation consent should be declined because of its effects on plants and animals and water quality. Five Rivers also needs discharge consents (for effluent), and consent for the large cow cubicle structures before it can proceed with that part of its development plans.

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2 1 Land south of Lake Öhau, where corporate farmer Five Rivers

wants to build cubicle dairy farms. Photo: Peter Scott

2 Native tussocks, sedges and other plants would die within

months if irrigated. Photo: Alpine Recreation

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conservation

news

Fight for Denniston’s life T

he evidence has been lodged, 16 witnesses prepared, and now Forest & Bird is in the Environment Court fighting to save the Denniston Plateau from mining. The case between Australian mining company Bathurst Resources and Forest & Bird was scheduled to start on October 29 and is expected to run until mid-December. After all the evidence has been considered, a judge and commissioners will decide whether to uphold or revoke Bathurst’s resource consents that allow it to turn 150 hectares of West Coast conservation land into an open-cast coal mine. The appeal against Bathurst’s resource consents is the biggest and most expensive Environment Court case Forest & Bird has prepared. Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin, who has been at the forefront of the campaign to save Denniston, says there’s a strong case for the court to annul the resource consents granted in August 2011. “The decision to grant resource consents to Bathurst last year wasn’t clear cut. Even though it was unanimous, the commissioners said it was made with ‘reservations and angst’. We have put together a really strong case. We will show the significant biodiversity values of the plateau and

what will be lost if mining proceeds. We’ll also argue that the social and economic benefits have been overstated,” Debs says. Bathurst’s mining plans have ignited passions on both sides over the past year. The company is unwavering in its goal to mine 800,000 tonnes of coal by next July, and thousands of New Zealanders have signed our petition to save the plateau and support our proposal to turn it into a public reserve. Whether attending our Denniston BioBlitz in March, or one of photographer Rod Morris’ illustrated talks or sharing information on Facebook, Kiwis from all over the country have shown support to keep mining off the plateau. Debs says the support has been “heartening” throughout the intense campaign. The plateau is on public conservation land. Forest & Bird’s case is that mining will put at risk a globally unique landscape along with its rare and unusual plants and animals. Furthermore, the mining and then burning of the coal offshore would release millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. There is no doubt there is a lot at stake for both sides. n Jolene Williams

Denniston field trips Forest & Bird is running guided weekend field trips to the Denniston Plateau in late February and March next year. The trips will be a fantastic opportunity to get close to the unique native plants and animals of the plateau and learn more about the ecosystems they are part of. Following the successful BioBlitz held at Denniston in March, these more intimate field trips provide a further opportunity to explore and discover more about life on the plateau. Participants will need to organise their own accommodation and transport to the plateau. The cost (to be advised) for the trips will go to Forest & Bird’s campaign to protect the area from mining. To indicate your interest in joining a field trip, please email Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin at d.martin@forestandbird.org.nz or phone 03 989 3355.

1 1 We’re fighting to save this. Photo: Simon East 2 Orange fungi found during the Denniston BioBlitz in March.

Photo: Fraser Crichton

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Exclusive Offer

to Forest & Bird Members 10% discount on all Craig Potton Publications when you buy online Kärearea … its prey never know what’s hit them. Photo: Craig McKenzie

NZ falcon our Bird of the Year

to page 9

The New Zealand falcon (kärearea) is the 2012 Bird of the Year, after a month of spirited campaigning in Forest & Bird’s eighth annual poll. The falcon won 1261 of the 10,292 votes cast in the poll, followed by the kökako (965) and the ruru (663). The top predator can reach speeds of up to 230km an hour and catch prey mid-flight. Despite being an aerial daredevil, it is vulnerable to predation when nesting on the ground and is listed as “threatened”. The NZ falcon nests on rocky ledges or on the ground, making it particularly vulnerable to predators such as cats, hedgehogs, stoats, weasels and possums. NZ falcon campaigner and comedian Raybon Kan led a campaign worthy of a raptor. “In tough times, the people need a hero. We need a bird that inspires us – an athletic bird that swoops from the sky, not some wheezy, pedestrian bird that’s a waste of feathers,” he says.

To receive the Forest & Bird offer please enter the discount code F&B1213 at the shopping cart checkout online at www.craigpotton.co.nz/store/books This discount is also available on our distributed products, including Lonely Planet and HEMA Free delivery within New Zealand AD_chalets.pdf

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Climate change rejection It was a great disappointment for Forest & Bird and our Denniston supporters when the High Court in August rejected our appeal to have the effects of climate change included under the Resource Management Act (RMA). Our appeal, held in conjunction with the West Coast Environment Network, was lodged after an Environment Court ruling in May. Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin says the decision was hugely disappointing as climate change poses a “tremendous threat to nature”. “Climate change will have the greatest impact on the world’s plants, animals and people, and it’s hard to see why the RMA should ignore this. Forest & Bird would like to see the RMA consider all issues for our environment from new developments, including mining,” she says. The current mine is expected to extract 6.1 million tonnes of coal, but Bathurst Resources is expecting to open more mines and increase this to 80 million tonnes. This will in turn release 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It’s a significant contribution to climate change, but under the court ruling, this is a matter to be considered at a national level under the Kyoto Protocol only after the coal has been dug up.

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conservation

news

Mining threatens Cobb Valley F

orest & Bird’s Golden Bay branch and many locals in Nelson and Golden Bay are working hard to stop a proposed mine that threatens a unique ecosystem surrounded by Kahurangi National Park in the Cobb Valley, south of Täkaka. Motueka-based Steatite Ltd wants to mine soapstone, or steatite, from three outcrops in the Cobb Valley. The company plans to remove up to 1660 nine-tonne slabs of soapstone a year from three rocky outcrops using benched open-cast mining. Golden Bay Forest & Bird Branch Secretary Jo-Anne Vaughan says if mining goes ahead, distinctive plant life adapted to the unusual geology will be destroyed. The Cobb Valley soapstone outcrops are unique in New Zealand. Noise from the mining operations will destroy the peace of the popular hiking and camping area, the landscape will be scarred and trucks travelling the narrow, winding road to

The proposed mining site in the Cobb Valley. Photo: Andrew Yuill

the Cobb Valley 64 times a week will be dangerous to visitors. “It’s just extreme; the magnitude of it is mind-blowing,” Jo-Anne says. “They could never replace it or mitigate the damage they will do. We reckon it will be impossible to get it back again.” Top of the South Island Field Officer Debs Martin says some of the issues raised by the Cobb Valley proposal are similar to those around Bathurst Resources’ proposal to open-cast mine the Denniston Plateau. The unique geology of both areas has created plant and animal communities found nowhere else. In both cases too, the mine proponents are seeking access agreements from the Department of Conservation on high-value, publicly owned conservation land to carry out their mining, but there is no provision for public input to the decision-making. Steatite Ltd is currently seeking access rights before going ahead with resource consent applications for the open-cast mine. Kahurangi National Park and surrounding areas are one of the oldest parts of New Zealand in geological terms, Debs says. “There are important fossils in the rock structure, including moa and South Island käkäpö bones in karst caves and the mummified remains of the extinct owlet-nightjar, which holds perhaps the only DNA record of that species. On the rock outcrops, you strike a very unusual combination of plants with a very high degree of local endemism that are confined to that area. One of the plants – the small herb magnesite cress – is found nowhere else. “It is up there probably as one of our most important sites in the country and it should be added to Kahurangi National Park to ensure its protection.” n David Brooks More information and a petition: http://savethecobb.wordpress.com

Flight of fancy for Forest & Bird S

pread your wings and fly for Forest & Bird by entering the Birdman Wellington Contest on Monday 21 January, 2013. Wellington Anniversary Day will see hundreds flock to the waterfront for a gala family day out at the iconic Birdman Wellington event. One of the main highlights will be the Birdman Contest, which starts at 11am for kids and 1pm for adults. For the first time Forest & Bird joins the event to support its feathered friends and to raise money for conservation projects. “We are very excited about the contest and the spectacle. The waterfront is going to be a riot of colour,” says Supporter Relations Manager Rebecca Scelly. By entering the contest for a small registration fee, people can have a lot of fun making a birdman costume, getting a team together if they want and creating their own fundraising buzz. There will be great prizes in

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categories like the “biggest splash”. All details about the Birdman Wellington Event are available at www.birdman.org.nz including how to register, setting up a fundraising page and some tips on the contest. For more details, call 801 2213 or email fundraising@forestandbird.org.nz

Bird watching has never been more fun!


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conservation

news

New path for Te Urewera F

orest & Bird welcomed the agreement announced in September between the Crown and Ngäi Tühoe to settle what Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said was one of the most “serious set of grievances in the nation’s history”. Te Urewera National Park will be governed by an independent board of guardians to ensure management focuses on protecting the park’s values and the special relationship between Ngäi Tühoe and the area. It will also link management of nearby Ngäi Tühoe-owned land with the main park area. Forest & Bird is pleased that Te Urewera’s natural values and biodiversity will continue to be protected by carrying the key provisions over from the existing National Parks Act and that it will continue to be professionally managed by the Department of Conservation. The new legislation will also protect public input into management planning. Forest & Bird expects the new legislation will incorporate the fundamental values in the National Parks Act. Forest & Bird congratulates Ngäi Tühoe for this historic agreement with the Crown. “All around New Zealand, hapü and iwi are becoming Forest & Bird’s most important allies as we share many of the

same underlying beliefs and principles about protecting nature,” Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton says. “We look forward to working with Ngäi Tühoe in the future management of Te Urewera.”

Panekiri Bluff and Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera National Park. Photo: Craig Potton

In brief RMA concern: Forest & Bird in September joined the Environmental Defence Society, Fish & Game, Ecologic, Greenpeace New Zealand and WWF-New Zealand in an open letter to Environment Minister Amy Adams to express alarm at recent Resource Management Act proposals. The report from a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) appointed to advise the government proposes big changes to parts of the Resource Management Act (RMA), and some of its most important sections. Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Claire Browning, a former lawyer, says part 2 of the RMA, which is mainly affected, is a cornerstone of environmental law in New Zealand. “These sections of the RMA are almost like a constitution for our environment, and the foundation of everything that gets built. If you want to get anywhere with a development, you don’t take your foundation to pieces and start again every time there’s a change of government.”

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EEZ changes: The government in August took one step towards better environmental protection in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), but further moves are needed. Environment Minister Amy Adams’ announcement about proposed changes to the EEZ Bill is less positive than it first appears. Claire Browning says the Minister’s move was significant. “The Minister has accepted that the balance in the Bill as introduced wasn’t right. Her decision to change the purpose clause marks an important return to resource management principles, and she’s made the right decision. But regrettably – because we’d like to support it – we still think that the Bill is too weak. A Bill like this is needed to manage our ocean environment, but it has to do the job that it was designed for.” Mrs Adams announced changes would be made to the Bill, including alignment with the Resource Management Act by amending its purpose clause to require sustainable management. This was an improvement on the previous wording, which had said that the aim was to balance environmental protection and economic development.


Fishing threats to Mäui’s dolphins I

t came as no surprise to Forest & Bird that the government’s reviewed Threat Management Plan for Mäui’s dolphins, released in September, identified fishingrelated threats as the top threat to the species’ survival. Forest & Bird has long supported removing gill nets and trawlers from all areas where Mäui’s dolphins are found as they are at risk of getting caught and drowning. With an estimated 55 individuals (over the age of one) left, Forest & Bird had hoped the various management strategy options offered in the Threat Management Plan review would reflect the critical need to protect the world’s most endangered dolphin. However, Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate Katrina Subedar says the management strategy options in the plan stopped short of properly minimising those threats. “Why doesn’t this government take this threat seriously? It should immediately ban all gill nets and trawlers from where these dolphins are found, which is offshore to the 100-metre-depth contour and within all harbours along the west coast of the North Island,” she says. Katrina says the plan’s proposed measures also fail to provide a sanction in the corridor between the North and South islands that connects Mäui’s with the closely related Hector’s dolphin, identified by scientists as important to the species’ survival.

New Zealanders have publicly demonstrated support for better protection measures with marches around the country, including to Parliament, and tens of thousands making submissions on greater protection measures around Taranaki. “It’s time the government listened to New Zealanders,” Katrina says. “Our marine mammals are the pandas of the sea, and we need to protect them. We can’t afford not to take immediate action.” Public submissions for the Threat Management Plan close at 5pm on November 12.

Gill nets and trawlers are the number one threat to the survival of Mäui’s dolphins. Photo: Kevin Shakespeare

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conservation

news

West Coast wetlands win T

he West Coast is one of the few areas with many significant remaining wetlands, and successful longrunning legal action by Forest & Bird should help ensure this continues to be the case. In New Zealand, 90 per cent of wetlands that existed in pre-European times have been drained for development. The lack of proper protection for wetlands in the West Coast Regional Council’s planning rules and procedures could have seen the region rapidly catch up to this level of destruction. In 2009, Forest & Bird and its allies appealed the regional council’s wetlands management provisions because they did not provide appropriate protection for wetlands, particularly those that would be classed as significant under the Resource Management Act (RMA). After a series of court decisions and mediation between the parties, there will be much better criteria for judging the significance of West Coast wetlands, improved objectives and policies for wetlands management and new rules to control earthworks, vegetation clearance and other activities in significant wetlands. The regional council has agreed to include the new provisions resulting from the Environment Court proceedings in its new Land and Water Plan. Forest & Bird Solicitor Erika Toleman, pictured, who has been leading the case, says the case was important to ensure significant wetland areas were not destroyed or

damaged by inappropriate development. The Environment Court’s first decision in 2010 was to agree with Forest & Bird – and our allies the Department of Conservation and Friends of Shearer Swamp – that criteria in the regional council’s Land and Riverbed Plan were not appropriate for judging if a wetland was significant. The court largely agreed with Forest & Bird’s preferred criteria. In January 2012 the court confirmed that changes were needed to the council plan’s objectives and policies for wetlands to strengthen protection and better reflect the purpose of the RMA. Mediation during the first half of this year resulted in all the parties agreeing to rules that would apply to activities on significant West Coast wetlands. The new controls mean resource consents will be needed for some activities in these wetlands. “We are really pleased with the outcome. While the case has taken a very long time to work through, the investment is worth it. Wetlands are an important type of ecosystem, and one that has been dramatically diminished in New Zealand,” Erika says. n David Brooks

Forest & Bird turns 90 Your nature-inspired break Clear night sky-Little Spotted Kiwi’s & Morepork calling-Kapiti Island is NZs most reliable natural Kiwi spotting and Kokako listening/viewing opportunities . Enjoy hospitality from the Kapiti Island Whanau; be wowed by the great foodcommune with the Takahe-Kaka-Saddleback-Stitchbird-kakariki..wonderful bush and coastal walks..marine reserve at your front window. Full or Half day tours as well as overnight Kiwi spotting tours at Kapiti Nature Lodge. Air NZ flys direct daily Auckland to Paraparaumu.

“Your overnight stay has got to be one of the best experiences in the region” Claire, Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Kapiti Island Nature Tours & kapiti Nature Lodge comms@kapitiislandnaturetours.co.nz www.kapitiislandnaturetours.co.nz Tel: 021 126 7525 | 06 362 6606 (mention this ad for your complimentary outdoor hot tub soak)

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Forest & Bird next year celebrates its 90th birthday. In 1923 Captain Val Sanderson launched the New Zealand Native Bird Protection Society, and the name was later changed to reflect the importance of habitat for birds. If you have been a member for more than 20 years, if you were born in 1923 or if you have memories of Forest & Bird milestones, Forest & Bird Communications Manager Marina Skinner would love to hear from you. She would also like to take copies of historical photos or documents. Please contact her at m.skinner@ forestandbird.org.nz or 04 801 2761 or PO Box 631 Wellington 6140.


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Forest & Bird

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5 kiwi

that saved a

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COVER STORY A century ago, five little spotted kiwi were taken to Kapiti Island in a move that proved a lifesaver. Today, new technology is shedding light on this rare and little-studied member of the kiwi family. By Helen Taylor and Kristina Ramstad.

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species 1

t’s difficult to spot a little spotted kiwi. The smallest of the five species of kiwi currently recognised, little spots are also the second rarest, numbering about 1700 individuals at the last count. All these birds live on predator-free offshore island sanctuaries, except for Zealandia Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington. Their rarity and inaccessibility, coupled with nocturnal habits, means many New Zealanders won’t have encountered a little spotted kiwi. It’s not surprising that many questions remain for this species, which was saved from extinction by the fortuitous translocation of five birds from the mainland to Kapiti Island in October 1912. The mainland population of Apteryx owenii, or kiwi pukupuku, eventually went extinct in the late 1970s, while the population on Kapiti Island grew, giving rise to every little spotted kiwi now alive. Today, topics up for debate range from basic biology and behaviour to the genetic consequences of having 1700 birds descended from, at most, five founders. Even the details of the original Kapiti translocation have been questioned. The little known about little spotted kiwi breeding biology came from the early studies of Jim Jolly and Rogan Colbourne, who gathered data on little spot mating and reproductive success while working for the former Wildlife Service on Kapiti Island in the 1980s. Their work provided the first information on the timing of nesting (October-February) and the usual clutch size (one egg, very occasionally two), as well as confirmation that males are the sole incubators in this species. It also produced a depressingly pessimistic estimate of nesting success (0.08 chicks per pair per year). The question of what happens when you start a whole population with just five birds remains. It is also unknown whether the nesting and incubation behaviour of Kapiti Island little spots would mirror that found in other populations. The seven other populations of little spots were founded by shifting birds from Kapiti Island and so have gone through two successive genetic bottlenecks. This kind of population bottleneck and the inbreeding that may follow are known to affect the fitness of recovering populations. Finding out about little spotted kiwi was listed as a priority in the Department of Conservation Kiwi Recovery Plan in 2008 and scientists are working on the answers. Forest & Bird

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The adult male little spotted kiwi fought with the tuatara, delivering a couple of stamps to the head with its formidable feet, which drove the tuatara away and kept the chick safe. Initial work by Kristina Ramstad and Hilary Miller in the Allan Wilson Centre at Victoria University of Wellington showed that genetic variation in little spotted kiwi is the lowest for any kiwi species. Genetically, things look bleak for little spots but, in spite of this, their numbers are growing. This population growth also contradicted the low estimates of reproductive success from the Kapiti study. A project funded by the Allan Wilson Centre and the Ministry of Science and Innovation is being run at Victoria. It aims to address the question of whether and how the genetics of little spotted kiwi might affect their reproductive success. The team behind the project is taking advantage of a host of innovative new technologies to collect data on the little spot populations in Zealandia sanctuary and on Long Island in Queen Charlotte Sound. Some exciting new information is already being uncovered. This project relies primarily on radio telemetry tags fitted to the leg of each male kiwi in the study to track the birds and measure nesting success. These tags contain special Chick Timer software, which outputs data on activity patterns, nest and burrow exit times, incubation status and hatching events – reducing the need for direct monitoring. The project also implements high-throughput genetic analysis techniques on little spotted kiwi for the first time in an attempt to dig deeper into the genetic structure of these two populations and determine if there is a connection between the relatedness of mating pairs and their nesting success. Within the next two years, the team at Victoria should have some real insight into the effects of historical genetic bottleneck effects on the reproductive

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success of little spots alive today. The most exciting results at this early stage, however, have come from the new camera technology the group has been using. A high-performance infra-red burrowscope and motion-sensor video camera traps have helped the team get world-first recordings of several little spotted kiwi behaviours. One unexpected finding in the first field season of the project has been the high number of birds laying two-egg clutches – something rarely encountered in the original Kapiti study. By recording the live output from the burrowscope, the team has been able to capture the first footage of a little spotted kiwi chick in the nest with a live egg containing its brother or sister. Even more exciting, the camera traps captured the first known recording of two little spotted kiwi chicks emerging from the nest together, providing concrete evidence of the successful hatch of a double-egg clutch. Nest visits by female birds during incubation have also been recorded, suggesting that the female isn’t as completely uninterested in the incubation as previously thought. Perhaps the most surprising and exciting incident captured by the camera traps was the first recording of an interaction between a little spotted kiwi and a tuatara, which was due to one plucky male making his nest in a tuatara burrow. After several sporadic visits to the nest during incubation, a large male tuatara was recorded entering the nest while a recently hatched chick was inside. This was of concern as tuatara are known to eat the chicks of fairy prions when sharing nest burrows with that species. 4

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COVER STORY In this case, the adult male little spotted kiwi fought with the tuatara, delivering a couple of stamps to the head with its formidable feet, which drove the tuatara away and kept the chick safe. Insights such as these illustrate how much is still left to discover about little spotted kiwi – an exciting, yet daunting prospect for any researcher working to advise DOC on the management of this species. What the team at Victoria is learning about the genetics of little spotted kiwi is informing the controversy of their original translocation to Kapiti, their future viability and the best management strategy for these birds in the short and long term. The team also hopes that, eventually, this kind of data will be incorporated into threat status ratings. In spite of their rarity, the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species currently ranks little spotted kiwi as near threatened, the system’s second-lowest level of concern. This classification is largely due to the fact that little spot numbers have been growing and that new populations have been established in predator-free locations. It doesn’t take into account the potential genetic threats, the intensive human effort required to establish and maintain predator-free populations of little spots or the finite availability of suitable island habitats for these birds. It also fails to recognise that 1200 of these birds live on a single island – Kapiti – which has been vulnerable to fire and, more recently, stoat incursions. The research team at Victoria is hoping that the new information uncovered by their study will provide a window into the fascinating lives of little spotted kiwi and help secure continued sanctuary for this beloved and iconic New Zealand species. Helen Taylor and Kristina Ramstad are researchers at the Allan Wilson Centre at Victoria University of Wellington. Helen is completing her PhD on the ecology and genetics of little spotted kiwi. Kristina is a Ministry of Science and Innovation postdoctoral fellow and has worked on the ecological genetics and conservation of kiwi since 2007. For videos, see helentaylorscience.weebly.com The authors acknowledge generous funding from Kaitiaki o Kapiti Trust, which helped purchase the motion-sensor cameras. Lara Shepherd (Te Papa Tongarewa) shared some of the genetic findings with Hugh Robertson. The Department of Conservation and Zealandia Sanctuary provided DNA samples from kiwi and support for field research. This work was conducted with additional support from Waiorua Bay Trust, Wellington Tenths Trust, Te Rünanga o Äti Awa ki Whakarongotai and Te Ätiawa Manawhenua ki te Tau Ihu Trust. 1 A female little spotted kiwi caught in Zealandia.

Photo: Andrew Digby

2 Little spotted kiwi have sharp claws - handy for digging and

defending territories and chicks. Photo: Judy Briggs

3 Ready for DNA sampling. Photo: Helen Taylor 4 A chick leaving its nest for the night. Photo: Andrew Digby 5 An abandoned egg. Photo: Helen Taylor

HEN ISLAND TIRITIRI MATANGI ISLAND

Where little spotted kiwi live today

RED MERCURY ISLAND

MOTUIHE ISLAND

KAPITI ISLAND

ZEALANDIA SANCTUARY LONG ISLAND

JACKSON BAY

(extinct – suspected source population)

CHALKY ISLAND

Science solves a mystery By Hugh Robertson Tracing the arrival of little spotted kiwi on Kapiti Island has involved some detective work. The first proof they were on Kapiti came in March 1929 when a bird was caught by a possum trapper. DNA analysis shows that Kapiti little spots most likely had a South Island origin. This rules out the possibility that they were marooned on Kapiti after it recently (geologically speaking) separated from the North Island. The analysis also rules out an introduction from the Marlborough Sounds by tangata whenua of Kapiti. The five kiwi from Jackson Bay on the West Coast of the South Island released on 12 October 1912 by E Phillips Turner were probably the original little spots on Kapiti. Tokoeka, another kiwi species, are also on Kapiti Island and it has been suggested that these are the kiwi transferred to Kapiti in 1912. Haast tokoeka live near Jackson Bay, but genetic studies have shown that the tokoeka on Kapiti are from Fiordland, not Haast, and suggest the kiwi brought to Kapiti in 1912 were indeed little spots. The very low genetic diversity of little spots is consistent with the founding of the population by as few as three birds within the last 100 years, and mitochondrial DNA, passed along the maternal line, shows that just two breeding females may have been introduced. Little spotted kiwi were abundant on the West Coast of the South Island at the turn of the 20th century, but populations soon crashed as stoats, cats and dogs took their toll. The probable introduction of little spots to Kapiti Island 100 years ago saved the species from extinction. Forest & Bird

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Tight genes A significant reduction in the size of a population is called a genetic bottleneck event. Most endangered species have experienced genetic bottlenecks because a drastic reduction in population size has usually contributed to their endangerment. Genetic bottlenecks reduce genetic diversity within populations because individuals that make it through the bottleneck will not fully represent all the genetic variation in the pre-bottleneck population. The diagram below represents the five little spots collected from a large mainland population and placed on Kapiti Island. This reduced the genetic variation (number of colours) in the species as a whole. Reduction in genetic diversity makes populations vulnerable to random events such as disease epidemics and increases the frequency of rare, harmful genetic traits. The reduction in population size that goes with a bottleneck also increases the likelihood of mating with a close relative, which further reduces fitness – an effect known as inbreeding depression. Poor hatching success and low fertility are often signs of inbreeding depression in birds – a pattern seen in Japanese quail, greater prairie chickens, takahë and käkäpö.

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Forest & Bird’s Kapiti connection Kapiti Island played a pivotal role in Forest & Bird’s beginnings almost 90 years ago. Captain Val Sanderson was driven to launch what was originally the New Zealand Native Bird Protection Society after discovering the neglect of Kapiti Island, which had been declared a bird sanctuary in the early 1900s. When he visited the island he found sheep and goats from the northern end were roaming through the sanctuary, and had damaged its native forest. Few birds remained. Captain Sanderson began a public crusade to get the government to properly manage the island and broadened his campaign to include protection for native birds everywhere in New Zealand. In 1923, the Native Bird Protection Society was born, and several years later it became the Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand. Captain Sanderson succeeded in getting government action to restore Kapiti Island. Forest & Bird still has connections to Kapiti Island today. In 2011 the Society gave $12,500 to the Department of Conservation to help rid the island of stoats, after three stoats were trapped on the previously pestfree sanctuary. The donation included $3000 from Forest & Bird’s Kapiti-Mana branch. DOC has put hundreds of traps and tracking tunnels spread around the island, and stoat search dogs scoured the island. They did not find any stoats, but work will continue until the island is again definitely pest free.

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Pre-bottleneck population

Post-bottleneck population

6 A little spotted kiwi in its burrow in Zealandia. Photo:

Andrew Digby

7 Stoats were found on Kapiti Island. Photo: David Hallett 8 A pair of little spotted kiwi in Helen’s study caught together in

Zealandia. Photo: Judy Briggs

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Sharks under attack The planet’s top predator is threatening the top predator of our seas. Jolene Williams explains why Forest & Bird wants New Zealand to join the rest of the world in banning shark finning.

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harks – kings of the oceans, rulers of the deep – are in serious trouble. Unsustainable fishing has led to a dramatic fall in the global shark population in the past few decades, and some experts estimate a decline of up to 80 per cent over the past 50 years. Despite growing awareness of the problem, scientists estimate 73 to 100 million sharks are caught every year just for their fins. Shark finning – removing the fins and dumping the body at sea – is widely condemned as a grossly unsustainable and wasteful practice. Many scientists, governments, environmentalists and marine advocates say shark finning is pushing some species towards extinction, and they are calling for an end to the practice.

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Shark finning is not a new issue. Ninety-eight states have outlawed the practice. Australia, Canada, South Africa, the European Union and island nations like the Bahamas, Maldives and Ecuador ban shark finnning. New Zealand is not one of the 98. Our legislation only prohibits finning live sharks. It is perfectly legal to land a shark, kill it, sever its fins and dump the remaining 98 per cent of its body overboard. Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate Katrina Subedar says it’s our nation’s shame that our laws on shark finning lag behind the rest of the world. “New Zealand doesn’t stack up internationally. We’re one of the outlying first world countries that still allow this barbaric, unsustainable and wasteful practice. The irony is


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New Zealand prides itself on having a sustainable fishing industry and yet we’re failing to meet our international obligations for shark conservation management.” New Zealand is ranked in the world’s top 20 shark fin exporters, with annual exports worth about $4.5 million. Shark finning is not something people normally associate with clean, green Aotearoa. However, Matt Watson, host of The ITM Fishing Show, says the practice is alive and well on our waters. He’s seeing fewer and fewer sharks. “Once I could go out on the open ocean and could see mako

sharks free swimming on the surface, and now they’re so much smaller and [there’s] fewer of them. I put it down purely to one thing: the surface long-lining fleet is smashing them. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They’re getting them and they’re chopping those fins off and the most terrible part of that is they’re just keeping the fins.” Matt says that, as the top predator, a shark’s biomass is an accumulation of protein produced by many marine species. Finning, he says, represents a huge waste of protein and energy. 1 Sharks play a critical role in balancing the marine ecosystem.

Photo: Stacy Jupiter/Marine Photobank

2 The fins of porbeagle sharks.

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We’re one of the outlying first world countries that still allow this barbaric, unsustainable and wasteful practice. Katrina Subedar Worse, anecdotal evidence indicates live finning happens illegally on our waters. Not only is this unsustainable, but also inhumane. One expert estimates it can take up to 50 minutes for a finned shark to drown. Matt has witnessed a commercial fishing vessel on New Zealand waters leave behind a finned blue shark, still breathing, being pecked to death by seabirds. The high demand for shark fins comes mainly from China and Hong Kong, where fins are used to make shark fin soup. The soup is a cultural delicacy and, though flavourless, the fins are believed to have medicinal properties and are symbols of prestige and wealth. Shark fins fetch up to $1200 a kilogram, making it one of New Zealand’s most expensive seafood exports, and far more profitable than the shark meat that’s sold to your local fish and chip shop. It’s maximum profit for minimal work, and Katrina says our laws do nothing to curb the financial incentive. Katrina makes it clear that Forest & Bird is not against shark fin soup. The problem lies in the unsustainability of finning sharks and simply discarding the rest of the shark carcass. She says finning is essentially a legalised practice that is pushing many shark species towards extinction. This is why Forest & Bird is a member of the newly formed New Zealand Shark Alliance (NZSA). The alliance is dedicated to bringing a legislative change that will see all caught sharks brought to shore with fins naturally attached so both the fins and the meat are used. This internationally recommended approach will encourage fishers to use the whole shark, and it advances the sustainability of the entire industry. 24

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3 A mako shark with some fins removed. 4 Dried shark fins for sale in Taiwan.

Photo: Eleanor Partridge/Marine Photobank

Creating a sustainable industry is central to the alliance’s goals. It’s also calling for better, more meaningful regulations under the Quota Management System (QMS). Only 9 per cent of our commercially fished shark species are managed under the QMS, and even then only one shark species has had a quantitative stock assessment. Green MP Gareth Hughes says our QMS is doing little to foster sustainable fishing of sharks. “When it comes to sharks the QMS sorely lacks teeth ... We have no idea what sort of shark populations we have in our waters, so to set any sort of quota is delusional guesswork.” The NZSA brings together organisations including Greenpeace, Kelly Tarlton’s, White Shark Conservation Trust

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TCBP1

TCDP1

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TCDB1

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TCRD2

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and New Zealand Underwater. It was formed in August ahead of the government’s review of the National Plan of Action for sharks. Through this national plan the government can bring an end to shark finning in our waters. It spells out the Ministry for Primary Industries’ objectives for “managing sharks taken in New Zealand fisheries, and describes the actions that will be required to take them”. The draft national plan was scheduled for release late last month, and gives the public the chance to make submissions. Katrina says public support for legislative change is a critical step in ensuring the survival of our sharks and protecting the health of our marine ecosystems. For some species, the threat of extinction is very real. Already 28 of our shark species are listed as threatened, of which only two are protected. As the top predator, sharks also have a critical role in balancing the ecosystem. They

weed out weak fish and keep populations of secondary predators in check. Without sharks, the whole ecosystem could collapse. It’s not just our own backyard that’s at stake. Most sharks, like mako and porbeagle sharks, are migratory species. So what we do on New Zealand waters affects the abundance of sharks in other areas and impacts on those marine ecosystems. The devastation would be widespread. Nations like the Bahamas rely heavily on sharks for their tourism industry, so it’s not just environmental factors we need to consider. For Forest & Bird and the NZSA, the solution is simple. Bring caught sharks ashore with fins naturally attached. Fish sustainably. Think of the environment and the future. We need to bring New Zealand laws in line with the rest of the world. And with the national plan under review for the first time in five years, now is the best time to rally for change.

It’s not about soup Forest & Bird and the NZSA are not advocating a boycott on shark fin soup or other shark fin products. Those products can still be enjoyed, but we want them to be sourced in a way that doesn’t harm our marine species. If you’re in a restaurant that serves the soup, why not ask how the sharks were caught? Were the sharks caught only for their fins, or were the rest of the carcasses used for meat? Industry people need to know New Zealanders are concerned about the issue.

How you can help Bring an end to shark finning in New Zealand: n Avoid shark fin products where the fins are caught unsustainably n Sign the NZSA pledge at www.forestandbird. org.nz/nzsharkalliance to show your support to have all sharks brought ashore with fins naturally attached n Write a letter or visit your local MP and ask where his or her party stands on the issue n Write a submission on the National Plan of Action for sharks – check Forest & Bird’s shark web page for more information n Raise public awareness by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper n Share information with friends, family and through social media n Check out the New Zealand Shark Alliance Facebook page

The tail fin of a blue shark. Shark finning is a wasteful and unsustainable fishing practice.

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SHARK STATS 73-100 million sharks killed around the world every year for their fins

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| 27


soapbox

Shifting ground Piece by piece, the National government is rewriting laws that have built our environment. By Claire Browning.

A

ll over the country, on land and at sea, the legal landscape is changing. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) legislation was passed in August. This Act, to manage our oceans, was long overdue and we were pleased to see Environment Minister Amy Adams’ last-minute change to provide for sustainable management in its purpose clause. However, that clause will be undermined by other parts in the Act that were left untouched. Weaker than its landbased equivalent – the Resource Management Act (RMA), which applies out to 12 nautical miles – it will be as much of a risk to our oceans as a benefit. Now the government’s attention is turning to more local resource management. Mrs Adams is considering Technical Advisory Group (TAG) proposals on RMA reform. There will be two RMA reform Bills, one of them introduced before Christmas, the other in 2013. The Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill has also just been introduced and sent to the Commerce Select Committee. In September Forest & Bird joined our environmental nongovernmental organisation colleagues – the Environmental Defence Society, Fish & Game, Ecologic, Greenpeace NZ, and WWF-New Zealand – in an open letter to Mrs Adams about the TAG’s recommendation that sections 6 and 7 of the RMA should be rewritten. The letter expressed our collective alarm about this and explained at some length why. The TAG has fallen foul of government policy because, far from simplifying and creating certainty, it would reopen 20 years’ worth of law and learning under the RMA to politicisation and litigation if its proposals were adopted. It would have the side-effect of rewriting the whole Act and invalidating much of the local-level planning done under it. This would cost us all. As the new EEZ law shares some key features of the TAG’s RMA proposals, the risk is that alignment may now be sought by changing the RMA. Forest & Bird will be working over the coming months on building regional awareness and concern about the fact that the government is even considering such radical and poorly developed ideas, and asking for lobbying support from our branches and local networks, as well as engaging

with Ministers ourselves, alongside the other ENGOs. This is only one among RMA proposals of interest to Forest & Bird. Speculative, but likely, proposals include a six-month time limit on resource consents, further “streamlining” of RMA and concession decision-making, more work on natural hazards management, different approaches to plan-making and to local government. Meanwhile, the Crown Minerals Bill gives effect to promises made by the government in July 2010, following its consultation on mining in national parks. At the same time, the Conservation Minister’s powers are very cynically undermined. Promises about adding Schedule 4 category land automatically to that schedule, not removing any land from the schedule, and publicly notifying “significant” applications to mine on public conservation land are kept. But what is “significant” is at the discretion of Ministers. A new “economic benefits” factor is to be added to access decision-making, and the Minister of Energy and Resources will have a new role. The Conservation Minister’s powers under various Acts to classify the land that she administers are given to the Governor-General by Order in Council. The purpose clause of the Act is rewritten: from being an Act to restate and reform (and regulate) the law to one that is about promoting mining. It all adds up to a large programme of legislative work, with implications for every part of our nature. The pattern of “balance” asserting itself in these laws, where economic development is weighed against environmental protection, is a fallacy. The bottom lines written on to our statute books 20 years ago, perceived as obstacles and currently being dismantled, are our fulcrum. From 1987 to 1991, Labour and National together laid down some passable foundations for an ecological economy. According to the TAG, New Zealanders’ values have changed, therefore, the RMA is now out of date. And yet, New Zealanders’ love for nature showed again in 2010, when 40,000 of us occupied Queen St, 37,000 more wrote submissions, and the government backed down. There are some environmental boundaries it would be political suicide to cross. The government is testing them. Claire Browning is a Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate.

The Crown Minerals Bill does not indicate the government listened to New Zealanders’ views about proposals to mine national parks.

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Te Awaroa – lifeline for a nation Dame Anne Salmond gave an inspiring Sanderson Memorial Address at Forest & Bird’s conference in June. David Brooks uncovers more about her vision for a network of river restoration.

A

n East Coast river has been an important presence through the twists and turns of Dame Anne Salmond’s childhood and adult life. It’s also one of the main catalysts behind a campaign she is leading to restore riverbanks throughout New Zealand. Te Awaroa – the Long River – will be a campaign to encourage communities throughout New Zealand to replant riverbanks with native plants and trees. Part of what is driving the Distinguished Professor of Mäori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland, historian and writer, is seeing the degradation of the Waimata River, which flows from the East Coast hinterland into the centre of Gisborne. “I grew up with the Waimata. We had a house right on the river when I was young and we used to go fishing in it, we’d go swimming. I’ve known that river from the time I was a kid, and the land we have now bought – we used to have picnics there when we were young and swim in the water

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holes. Well, those water holes are gone now after Cyclone Bola [in 1988] and I wouldn’t have my grandchildren swim in that river now.” The land she speaks of is Longbush, a 120-hectare property nine kilometres from Gisborne, which includes an 11-hectare strip of remnant bush beside the Waimata River. Dame Anne and husband Jeremy bought the land 12 years ago and have been busy restoring the property as a refuge for native species. She has seen the impact of floods exacerbated by the clearfelling of plantation forests in the Waimata catchment and the scouring of the riverbed and banks by slash – the waste branches cut from the trunks of pines – which tumbles down the river when it rains heavily. Te Awaroa appeals to Dame Anne because the project could achieve much more than simply helping to improve water quality. “You’ll have a wildlife corridor, and erosion control, and recreational advantages because people will be kayaking, swimming and fishing. The water will be


NATURE OF TOMORROW

2

1 3

clear and clean and the banks will have bush on them that supports native birds. For some of our communities, it will be good for tourism too.” The project had its inspiration at the Transit of Venus conference in Gisborne in June, a gathering of scientists, policymakers, academics and other delegates to consider how science could contribute to making New Zealand a country where talent wants to live and create prosperity. Conference instigator Sir Paul Callaghan, who died in March, spent some time at Tolaga Bay ahead of the forum, talking to the locals. They told him the most valuable legacy of the conference for them would be reversing the declining health of the Üawa River. A resulting study showed land use patterns were the main cause of the river’s decline and this led to a wider discussion among forum delegates about the problems of New Zealand rivers and what could be done about them. “Their instinct and my instinct is not to sit around at the wailing wall getting angry. They were a really constructive group and a great depth of scientific expertise was available. There was a unanimity of view of the people at the forum that what is happening to our waterways is crazy. Instead of telling the government to fix it we just

decided to try and do something positive.” New Zealand’s 100% Pure branding is crucial to tourism and other export industries, and conference participants believe action is needed to ensure the integrity of our branding is not destroyed. “We said let’s show that we want that 100% Pure image to be real. Whatever we do has to be big and genuine, and it has to be dramatic.” Te Awaroa is still in its infancy but ideas on how to make it work are starting to take shape. Dame Anne recognises some communities are already doing work on their rivers but it is fragmented and often lacking technical and funding support. Her work with Mäori leaders and communities on the East Coast has shown that projects should be locally driven because those imposed by government agencies and other outsiders usually don’t work. “The people who live in that landscape – if they have the ability and are given the responsibility – will ensure the 1 Longbush Ecosanctuary. 2 Dame Anne Salmond working at Longbush Ecosanctuary. 3 Flooding exacerbated by the clearfelling of pine plantations

in the catchment of the Waimata River seriously damages the riverbanks at Longbush.

Forest & Bird

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outcome is infinitely better than when the responsibility is exercised at a high level and at a far distance. The whole idea of Te Awaroa is not to try to create a new organisation and a new structure to come in on top of local people – that would be the worst thing to do.” What a broader, nationally based Te Awaroa organisation could do is provide technical support and information, access to funding and publicity. People working on particular projects could learn about other riparian projects, have access to good scientific advice suited to local conditions, and wouldn’t duplicate each other’s efforts. It would not make sense, for example, for all the local groups working on Te Awaroa projects to set up their own websites. Dame Anne and a group of people are working out how the project will work and its structure. A couple of pilot projects are likely, and she is keen for one to be on the East Coast, where she has seen the damage done to rivers by inappropriate development and where she has learned what Mäori values could bring to improving the environment. From her late teens, travelling the country in a blue VW Beetle researching Mäori gatherings and hui, she learned

a lot about the Mäori way of looking at geography and the significance of rivers and mountains to the identity of iwi and hapü. Her work with Eruera and Amiria Stirling, elders of Te Whänau-ä-Apanui and Ngäti Porou on the East Coast, gave her a better understanding of the problems created by clumsy government intervention on the coast. Government encouragement of land clearance resulted in massive erosion when Cyclone Bola struck. After pine plantations were promoted, it happened all over again when mature pine forests were clearfelled. The purchase of Longbush has brought Dame Anne closer to the day-to-day challenges of hands-on conservation. It has also brought her back to the Waimata River. Despite living her adult life in Auckland, the river has been a recurring presence, not least with its links to Gisborne sites important in her work such as the first New Zealand landing place of Captain James Cook – which she wrote vividly about in her book The Trial of the Cannibal Dog – and the landing place of the voyaging canoes Horouta and Täkitimu.

4

There was a unanimity of view of the people at the [Transit of Venus] forum that what is happening to our waterways is crazy. Instead of telling the government to fix it we just decided to try and do something positive. Dame Anne Salmond

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Since the Salmonds bought Longbush, they have created a trust that has restored the remnant forest, created wildlife corridors, planted the Rene Orchiston collection of 60 species of harakeke, or flax, established a fenced breeding site for grey-faced petrels and started replanting former pasture. “Longbush has been such a huge learning curve. We are trying to make this place as safe as we can for species which have very few safe places on the East Coast now, although we know our 120 hectares is not really big enough,” she says. What is needed is a network of sanctuaries and wildlife corridors, as well as a healthy Waimata River. That’s where Te Awaroa can count locally as well as nationally. Dame Anne says there is no reason why local groups can’t start organising now before the national campaign is in place. “One of the things that people can do immediately is what is already happening all over the country, where people are getting together and looking for a waterway that needs bush buffers on its banks and organising themselves into groups and getting out there and planting them.” More information: longbushreserve.org

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7 4 Longbush from Pä Hill. 5 Dame Anne Salmond. Photo: Jane Ussher 6 Brett Stephenson releasing North Island robins at Longbush

Ecosanctuary.

7 A fenced enclosure has been created at Longbush Ecosanctuary

to establish a grey-faced petrel colony.

Amazing facts about…

MISTLETOE By Michelle Harnett

Photo: Dave Kelly

V

ermillion, crimson and scarlet light up New Zealand forests every summer. Most of us associate this time of year with long hot days, brilliant blue skies and drifts of pöhutukawa. But other flowers bloom in the bush, and New Zealand is home to nine species of native mistletoe. Two belong to the genus Peraxilla. They are not found at the beach but are in South Island beech forests. Masses of showy red or orange flowers brighten the forest when the Peraxilla mistletoes flower in January. The flower buds are unusual because they explode open, and nectar-eating birds are the triggers. Hungry tüï and bellbirds grasp the top of a bud with their beaks and twist. The flower petals spring open and the bird pushes its head in to collect the nectar. At the same time, pollen is smeared all over the bird’s head and beak. As the bird continues to feed, it pollinates the flowers it visits. Mistletoe nectar is the first choice of snack for tüï and bellbirds. A ripe, untouched bud guarantees the birds a feed, whereas an open flower signals its nectar has probably been collected so the bird can move on. Flowers visited by birds are far more likely to set seed than those that miss out. Even more remarkably, two native bee species have also figured out how to open the mistletoe flowers, though they have a hard time. They bite the top of the buds, which sometimes spring open, then the bees sneak in to collect pollen and nectar. The best place to see flowering beech mistletoe is in the Southern Alps but in much of the country the mistletoes are now rare. Deforestation is one major cause and another is the possum, which munches the mistletoe, enjoying the fleshy leaves and juicy stems. By eating leaves and damaging branches, possums reduce the amount of mistletoe, depriving birds of future nectar feeds. In turn, a decrease in native bird numbers affects mistletoe pollination and seed dispersal. Overseas there is a tradition of cutting mistletoe to hang over doorways at Christmas, but New Zealand mistletoes are declining and are very slow-growing – a 30cm branch can take 5-6 years to grow – so this custom damages the plants. If you want to kiss under mistletoe, take your friend to the plant instead of vice versa. Here’s hoping for a successful flowering season. Forest & Bird

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Park the

Mökihinui

1

Forest & Bird is working to give lasting protection to the Mökihinui River. By David Brooks.

T

he Mökihinui River on the West Coast has been saved from Meridian Energy’s planned 85-metre-high hydro dam but there is a long way to go to ensure one of New Zealand’s most pristine rivers is never threatened again. Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin is leading our campaign to have the Mökihinui River and catchment added to neighbouring Kahurangi National Park. She says putting the river in the park would ensure that another power company or developer would be unable to put up a new plan to destroy the Mökihinui’s natural treasures. “All the evidence gathered by the Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird and our allies shows conclusively the Mökihinui deserves to be preserved. Putting it in the national park is the best way to achieve this,” she says. “The reasons why the Mökihinui must be preserved have now been firmly established – it would be stupid and wasteful to have to argue the case again in another drawn-out and expensive legal process.” Meridian’s dam would have created a 14-kilometre-long reservoir along the spectacular bush-clad Mökihinui Gorge, drowning 330 hectares of forest and destroying habitat essential for native birds, insects, fish and other animals. The state-owned power company was granted resource consents to build the dam in 2010 and organisations including Forest & Bird and DOC soon after announced they would appeal the decision in the Environment Court. The hearing was due to be held in September this year but Meridian wisely abandoned the proposed dam in late May, saying the opposition to the project created too many uncertainties. The river and catchment were originally considered for inclusion in Kahurangi National Park but when the park

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was created in 1994 the Mökihinui River was left out, partly because of lobbying by pro-development interests. A map of the national park shows the borders that mostly follow the coast and natural contours suddenly swerve eastwards to exclude the Mökihinui catchment. Landscape architect Gavin Lister said in evidence prepared for DOC that it would be difficult to find an area with greater natural character anywhere in mainland New Zealand. The gorge alone supports 21 indigenous bird species, 11 of which are threatened. These include the whio (blue duck), which can live only in clear, fast-flowing rivers. Other endangered wildlife include great spotted kiwi, long-tailed bats and carnivorous Powelliphanta giant land snails. Native fish life is rich, with longfin eels, ïnanga and a variety of bullies and kökopu . The gorge area comprises primary lowland podocarp and broadleaved forests that are regionally and nationally rare. Northern rätä provide swathes of seasonal red blossoms among the rimu, mataï and kämahi. Different species of beech become more predominant higher in the hills above the river. In 2004 DOC assessed waters of national importance for biodiversity conservation. Of 4706 river catchments around New Zealand, the Mökihinui was ranked seventh highest. In spite of this, the Mökihinui catchment land has stewardship status – a relatively low level of protection under the Conservation Act. It is clearly inadequate to protect the treasures the Mökihinui contains. Stewardship areas with significant but largely poorly studied conservation values were identified before DOC was established in 1987, and it was intended that these areas would be systematically assessed. High-value land


would be retained and given stronger protection, and some land of lower conservation value would possibly be disposed of. Due to DOC’s financial and staff constraints, this assessment has not been done for the Mökihinui and most other stewardship areas. Stewardship land has far fewer protections than other types of conservation land such as national parks, reserves and ecological areas. For instance, developers can propose swapping stewardship land they want to develop for private land, an option that does not exist for any other type of conservation land. The inference is that stewardship land has a low ecological value but in the case of Mökihinui this clearly is not true, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright has said. DOC would not have opposed Meridian’s resource consents if the area was not ecologically valuable. Dr Wright recommended that important wild and scenic rivers – such as the Mökihinui – should be identified and reclassified for greater protection. Forest & Bird agrees and argues this would be best achieved by adding the river and catchment to the national park. The West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board has announced its support for Forest & Bird’s proposal, describing the addition of the Mökihinui as a logical step. This would be of value both to the Mökihinui and to the Kahurangi National Park. The addition of the catchment to the national park would offer more opportunities to travel from the heart of the national park to the coast. It would add another important population of endangered Powelliphanta giant land snails to those already in the park, as well as adding a large area of rare lowland alluvial forest. There would also be opportunities to better coordinate work to control pests and weeds in the park and surrounding region.

The Mökihinui’s historical and recreational significance also needs to be recognised. Trampers, kayakers and rafters love it, and mountain bikers will soon get to enjoy it when the 80km Lyell to Mökihinui Old Ghost Road trail is completed. Gold first brought Europeans to the region and relics of gold fever remain, including the rusted remains of mining machinery and the historic pack route hacked and blasted into the gorge’s rock face. Debs Martin says the legal action over the proposed dam consumed millions of taxpayer dollars in a battle between two publicly owned organisations – DOC and Meridian. The finances, staff and volunteers of Forest & Bird and other conservation groups were stretched in the fight against a proposal that should never have seen the light of day. “The argument for preserving and protecting the Mökihinui has been made and won – for now. New Zealand has an opportunity to save this treasure for ever and we should grab it with both hands,” she says.

Kahurangi National Park Proposed Mökihinui addition

Mökihinui River

What Forest & Bird has done Forest & Bird asked the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board and the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board to begin the process to have the Mökihinui River catchment included in Kahurangi National Park. The conservation boards in turn asked the New Zealand Conservation Authority to initiate the process for the Department of Conservation to analyse the idea. The authority has asked DOC to start the process. 

How you can help

2 1 The upper reaches of the Mökihinui River. 2 Northern rätä colour the Mökihinui’s forests in summer.

You can support the case to have the Mökihinui River catchment included in Kahurangi National Park by writing to the Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson at k.wilkinson@ministers.govt.nz urging that DOC progresses with this as a matter of priority. You could mention the Mökihinui catchment’s very high values, the need for permanent protection, the desire to avoid wasting further taxpayer money in case the river is targeted again, its high recreational values consistent with the park, and any other stories you want to share from personal experience. 

Photo: DOC

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Pacific watch Australia

Lord Howe Island

Fiji

EagleCam is again trained on the nest of a pair of sea eagles at Olympic Park in Sydney. The BirdLife Australia project is giving insights into the species’ breeding behaviour. www.birdlife.org.au

The Australian government announced it will spend A$9 million to rid the 56 square kilometre World Heritage Area of rodents. At least 13 bird species are threatened by rats.

Rats and goats have been eliminated from the islands of Kadomo and Monuriki in a BirdLife International and National Trust of Fiji project last year. The introduced pests were threatening the critically endangered Fijian crested iguanas and many seabirds.

Photo: Tony Jewell t

Photo: BirdLife Australia t

Photo: Fijian crested iguana. Photo: BirdLife Pacific t

Cook Islands

Tahiti

Henderson Island

Prime Minister Henry Puna announced a 1 million square kilometre marine reserve to reverse its deteriorating marine ecosystems. Other Pacific nations are set to follow, including Kiribati and Tokelau.

Societe d’Ornithologie de Polynesie has saved 60 grounded petrels and shearwaters attracted by lights, after launching a publicity campaign and training volunteers to rescue the birds.

Sadly, Pacific rats have been found after the RSPB eradication operation last year, so more work is needed. However, monitoring shows many of the island’s bird populations have bounced back due to greatly reduced rat numbers.

Photo: Kevin Dalley s

s

Tahiti petrel release. Photo: Matthieu Aureau

Red-footed booby chick. Photo: Julien Baudat-Franceschi s

To learn more visit www.forestandbird.org.nz/

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500,000 trees and counting

Honda TreeFund is proud to have accumulated funding for over 500,000 trees and we aren’t stopping yet! In the local area that Honda vehicles are sold, TreeFund supports the redevelopment of: • Water run off control • Erosion control • Regional Parks or other planting for beautification • Biodiversity protection and restoration • Establishment of native tree populations (trees + protecting cover) • Urban stream enhancement • Coastal protection and restoration planting • The Cancer Society SunSmart School’s Accreditation Programme

honda.co.nz/treefund

TreeFund assists the biodiversity of New Zealand for a brighter future and blue skies for our children.


Making insects

feel at home

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1


BACKYARD conservation

Increase your garden’s biodiversity by putting out a welcome mat for the little guys. By David Brooks.

W

hen an infestation of aphids, mealy bugs or other common garden pest appears in our gardens it is tempting to look for a quick fix such as a chemical spray. But a better solution is to work towards a balance where nature is doing most of the work for us. Attracting beneficial insects is a major part of creating a balanced ecosystem in our gardens that does not require expensive and sometimes toxic chemicals. A healthy garden is good for conservation because it can help increase numbers of native insects, lizards and birds. “The main things to remember are to provide places for insects to live, to have plenty of variety in your garden and to ensure there are always food sources available. It’s important to keep things in balance,” says Kaye Reardon, a Wellington garden consultant, who uses organic principles in her Grow From Here business. The proof is in her own garden, where a great variety of plants thrive despite being on a ridge top exposed to Wellington’s wild elements. She points out that even the insects and garden bugs that most vex gardeners – including aphids, slugs and snails – are useful too. Aphids can clean up plants by killing off the diseased and stressed parts, and slugs and snails help break down dead leaves and other material. “It’s not so much that some insects are harmful but it’s more about their numbers,” says Kaye. If there is an infestation of aphids and whitefly, the plants are probably stressed and the garden is out of balance. One way of helping to avoid major infestations is by encouraging predator insects into your garden. One of the most important in New Zealand gardens is the hoverfly. As well as pest control, they have other uses too. “Hoverflies are great; they do a great job pollinating as well as controlling other potentially harmful insects,” says Kaye. “Not everything is bee pollinated, but bees take all the credit.” Other useful insects include lacewings, praying mantises, ladybirds, ground beetles, earwigs, bees and native wasps and assassin bugs. Spiders, centipedes and some mites are also helpful hunters. It is important to have plants in flower for as much of the year as possible to attract insects. These include the native and introduced bees that pollinate your garden but also other insects that can act as pollinators and predators of common garden pests. Most native insects have short tongues, so plants with small open blooms – especially native species – are best for attracting them. Invertebrate ecologist Alison Evans recommends Olearia species, köhühü, lemonwood, ribbonwood, cabbage tree and hebes as some of the best native species to attract insects. Most of our gardens contain many introduced plant species – particularly in our vegetable plots – that attract introduced insects that can become pests, so it is necessary to attract the introduced insects that prey on them as well. Excellent plants for attracting large insect numbers include borage, calendula (marigolds), phacelia, lavender and sunflowers.

3

4 One of the most important steps you can take is to ensure there are good places for the beneficial insects to live and shelter. You can build elaborate insect hotels but there are simpler ways. Insects like long grasses and hedges, and Kaye has a terracotta garden ornament that is a favourite with wëtä and other insects. It is also a good idea to provide water, even if it is only the odd small dish. “In the end, it is about having lots of variety in the garden and lots of things going on. That’s what pleases me about my garden and that will keep the insects happy too,” says Kaye. 1

Kaye Reardon keeps wild spots in her garden for beneficial insects to shelter. Photo: Anna Harding

2

Hoverflies attack potentially harmful insects and pollinate plants. Photo: Rod Morris

5

3 & 4 Hebes and mänuka are

good native plants that attract insects. Photos: Anna Harding

5

Praying mantises are useful in controlling harmful insects. Photo: DOC

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DIY

Create a garden for insects

conservation

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6

1 2 3 4

Any great garden starts with good soil. To create a garden full of a wide variety of healthy plants, which attract lots of useful insects, add compost and mulch to create quality soil.

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Many plants, especially in the vegetable garden, will not be native. They will attract introduced pests, so it is a good idea to include plants that will attract their predators. Planting a variety of herbs and flowering plants around vegetables and fruit trees will attract the predators that keep pests in check. Among the most useful flowering plants are phacelia, which can be replanted monthly to ensure ongoing flowering, borage, calendula, buckwheat, lavender and sunflowers. Keep water in your garden for the insects.

The fewer chemical sprays you use the better. Any broad-spectrum insecticide will wipe out the beneficial insects along with the potential pests and make a future infestation more likely. Plant a wide variety of flowering plants. To attract beneficial insects to your garden and to keep them there, it is important that there are plants in flower for as much of the year as possible. Many insects, such as hoverflies, rely partly on flower nectar and pollen as part of their food supply. Some gardeners also encourage small populations of pest insects to keep the predators interested. 9 Many gardens will include both native and introduced plants. Some of the most useful insects are natives. They have short tongues, adapted to the small open flowers of native plants, so it is worth including natives for that reason alone. Olearia species, köhühü, lemonwood, ribbonwood, cabbage tree and hebes are good natives to have in your garden.

7 8

Shelter for insects is important. Long grasses and hedges around the fringes of your garden are good. Garden ornaments, pots and other artificial shelters can also make good insect homes. Read about attracting bugs to your garden in Backyard Bugs: A guide to pest control in the home and garden by Bruce Chapman (Dunmore Publishing, 1998).

6 Improve your soil with compost. Photos: Anna Harding 7 More than 20 species of stick insect are found in

New Zealand.

8 Native and introduced bees pollinate garden plants.

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9 Kaye Reardon’s garden is full of variety.


Our partners

New bond with The Co-operative Bank F

orest & Bird is thrilled to announce a community partnership with The Co-operative Bank. This relationship brings together two New Zealand organisations with a shared heritage of community service, both tracing their origins back to the 1920s. In September, The Co-operative Bank Chief Executive Bruce McLachlan and Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton planted a young kahikatea tree as a symbol of the new partnership at Päuatahanui Wildlife Reserve north of Wellington. Bruce is positive about the prospects for the partnership, and was particularly impressed with the reserve and Forest & Bird volunteer tour guide Wanda Tate. “We are very happy to be supporting Forest & Bird and their wonderful community projects. I find it inspirational to meet a person like Wanda who has spent so many hours on this project and turned it from a haphazard dump into a wonderful nature reserve.” Mike also sees great strengths in the partnership. “The Co-operative Bank and Forest & Bird are both community-based membership organisations. I believe this partnership will be a great fit for our members and that they will appreciate the customer ownership of The Co-operative Bank.” The Co-operative Bank is offering Forest & Bird members a special banking package, which features extremely competitive rates and benefits and directly supports the work of Forest & Bird. For each eligible account opened, The Co-operative Bank will make a donation direct to Forest & Bird. Eligible products include personal and home loans and savings accounts. In a landscape of Australian-owned banks and banks supported by the New Zealand government, The Co-operative Bank really stands out. Because it’s a co-operative, it is owned by the people who use it

and is managed for their best interests. It is owned by New Zealanders. The bank has 31 branches, from Whängärei to Invercargill. The bank’s financial donations are important to the work of Forest & Bird, but the shared sense of being part of our local communities really cements the relationship. Local branch bank staff will be helping out with fundraising, in practical conservation work in their local area and at events. More information: www.forestandbird.org.nz/thecooperativebank or phone The Co-operative Bank on 0800 554 559

Forest & Bird volunteer Wanda Tate shows Co-operative Bank Chief Executive Bruce McLachlan and Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton around Päuatahanui Wildlife Reserve.

The value of our supporters F

orest & Bird is a rare breed of New Zealand charity for many reasons, including how we are funded. We are one of the oldest – 90 next year – and we have a wide presence in the community, with 48 branches. What makes us even more unique is that we are one of the very few charities in New Zealand that relies 100 per cent on our supporters for funding. We receive no guaranteed funds from any source, including the government, and we rely on our wonderful supporters, from members and donors to grant providers and sponsors. Forest & Bird has increased its income nearly five-fold in the past five years – from $1.25 million to more than $6 million. “The growth of our income has translated into a huge increase in our conservation activities and ability to respond to major conservation crises, such as the Denniston and Mökihinui battles,” says General Manager Mike Britton.

“These are major campaigns and the costs are significant. We are the only organisation that is consistently fronting up in all areas – Parliament, local government, resource use issues and protecting our protected land and species. We do give nature a voice in New Zealand.” More than 100 people are joining Forest & Bird every week thanks to our door-knocking recruitment programme and we are receiving a regular income from our telemarketing programme. Fundraising is not an easy way to secure income for our conservation projects, but it is absolutely essential if we are to keep afloat and create positive outcomes for nature. To raise more money, we have diversified our fundraising sources. It is vital to Forest & Bird that our supporters feel good about giving to the cause they love and that their donations are giving nature its voice. Forest & Bird

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rangatahi our future

Lessons from the

Kermadecs

30 young Kiwis joined a Sir Peter Blake Trust expedition to the Kermadec Islands. Lucy Tothill was one of them, and she writes about what she learned from the trip.

S

unday on Sunday Island! Raoul Island, the largest and northernmost island in the Kermadecs group, is also known as Sunday Island, and on this Sunday morning in August we woke to a squawking pükeko and a misty sky. On the lawn between the blue of the ocean and the wooden hostel building, pükeko scratched, tüï fought over bananas and käkäriki fluffed and preened themselves in the trees. On the edge of the rolling, grassy lawn, a cliff face dropped off quickly, separating us from the marine environment we could not wait to explore. 2

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The waves pounded the cliff face, the winds flinging sea spray upwards. Higher up, sea birds – Tasman boobies, Kermadec petrels and terns – swung in circles and dropped suddenly into the sloshing, brackish ocean. If you looked closely enough, further out to sea the distinctive fluke of a humpback whale could be seen now and then, rising and falling back below again. Straight out from the hostel’s flagpole the HMNZS Canterbury was at anchor, keeping guard over the island. Despite its huge mass, it looked tiny on the heaving ocean, a small grey patch upon endless blue. 4

1


The ship was a reminder of why we were there. Accompanied by the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Sir Peter Blake Trust, our group of 30 young New Zealand students was carrying on the legacy of Sir Peter Blake. With the aim of inspiring New Zealanders to understand the global significance of the Kermadec Islands and to encourage stewardship of the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve and the planet’s oceans generally, the Sir Peter Blake Trust, together with the Ministry for the Environment, the Royal New Zealand Navy, Department of Conservation and Pew Environment Group, took us on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to New Zealand’s largest marine reserve. We travelled on the HMNZS Canterbury, with a crew of subject experts, scientists, artists, educators, communicators and leaders. Our first day on Raoul was spent touring the DOC station and living like “Raoulies”. We visited the met station, where a weather balloon is let off daily, and the käkäriki followed us, past the orange orchard and the solar panels that keep the hostel running, to a special lookout on the edge of a cliff. From this lookout, we could see where land met sea. Pöhutukawa trees shroud the island, creating a ragged shawl for the volcanic humps that make up Raoul. At first glance, the island looks like home, with pöhutakawa, tüï, ferns and nïkau. But look closer and there is a tropical feel about the place, with large waxy leaves, spongy, fertile grass and tropical fruit trees. The island is halfway between New Zealand and Tonga, and its plants and animals are a unique blend of native New Zealand and tropical Pacific island. The island’s peach, guava and olive trees and passionfruit vines seem luxurious but in reality the DOC workers battle daily with these weeds to prevent them spreading. Pink tape marks the places DOC pays special attention to, and the contrast of pink with green is strangely unnatural. That evening, the clear blue sky darkened as the stars came out, and still we heard the chittering of forest birds as we gazed in awe at the display above. Under those stars we drifted off, with both marine and land animals vivid in our minds. When the pinch of early morning chill woke us, we groggily arranged breakfast and gathered at the flagpole on the peak of the hill above the hostel. Chewing muesli slowly, we prepared ourselves mentally for the trip back to the ship and the voyage back to Auckland. When we were in the air, heading back to the HMNZS Canterbury on the helicopter, I squinted back at Raoul. Its Green and Blue lakes punctured flat holes in the otherwise scraggly and humped terrain. Mist started to blur the island’s edges, and I told myself that I would return. Lucy Tothill, 16, is in year 12 at St Margaret’s College in Christchurch. 5

TONGA •

MEYER ISLAND

RAOUL ISLAND KERMADECS

An ocean sanctuary Halfway between New Zealand’s North Island and Tonga, the 15 islands and rocks of the Kermadecs are remote and rarely visited. Scientists say there is still much more to learn about these islands, the waters surrounding them and the deep trench that extends more than 10,000 metres below sea level. As a major contribution towards the long-term survival of unique and endangered species, and to deep sea research, the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surrounding the Kermadec Islands is important. Forest & Bird is working with Pew Environment Group and WWF New Zealand to encourage the New Zealand Government to protect the Kermadec region and the rich biodiversity there by creating one of the world’s largest ocean sanctuaries. A Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, extending from the existing 12 nautical mile marine reserve out to the EEZ boundary, would cover an area of 620,000 square kilometres. More information: www.thekermadecs.org 1 Students snorkel in the pristine Kermadec waters. Photo:

Libby Liggins

2 The HMNZS Canterbury moored off Raoul Island. Photo:

Rebecca Priestley

3 A Kermadec petrel and chick. Photo: Karen Baird 4 Much of Raoul Island’s coastline is steep cliffs. Photo:

Rebecca Priestley

5 Blue Lake, one of the lakes in Raoul Island’s crater, is separated

from the ocean by steep cliffs covered in nïkau and pöhutukawa. Photo: Rebecca Priestley

6 Pükeko in a water trough next to the DOC hostel on Raoul

Island. Photo: Rebecca Priestley

7 Lucy Tothill and Navy chief Rear Admiral Tony Parr, who visited

the HMNZS Canterbury on the last night of the voyage. Photo: Rhiannon Scott

6

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Snorkelling with sharks One of the most abundant top predators in the Kermadecs is the Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis), a species absent around the shores of mainland New Zealand. It’s a relatively small shark, and the largest seen on the 2012 Kermadec expedition was about two metres long. With a sense of self-assurance, these unique creatures circled beneath us as we snorkelled, followed by small fish. The Kermadecs region is the only part of New Zealand where tropical, sub-tropical and temperate waters meet, resulting in the perfect foraging and breeding ground for these Galapagos sharks. Because the waters are protected, the marine ecosystem is intact, and these top predators patrol the waters, along with other large fish like the spotted black grouper and kingfish.

9

Flying visitors

8 8 Galapagos sharks are in Kermadec waters but not around

mainland New Zealand. Photo: Jamie Darbyshire

9 Large colonies of seabirds, including the red-tailed tropicbird,

nest on the Kermadec Islands. Photo: Karen Baird

WIN A BOOK

Forest & Bird is giving away two copies of New Zealand Bird Calls book and CD by Lynnette Moon, Geoff Moon, John Kendrick and Karen Baird (New Holland, $29.99). To enter the draw, email your entry to draw@forestandbird.org.nz Please put Bird Calls in the subject line and include your name and address in the email. Or put your name and address on the back of an envelope and post to Kiwi draw, Forest & Bird, PO Box 631, Wellington 6140. Entries close on December 5. New Zealand Bird Calls is for sale at Forest & Bird’s online shop at www.forestandbird.org.nz or send a cheque for $29.99 (includes packaging and post in New Zealand) to New Zealand Bird Calls book purchase, Forest & Bird, PO Box 631, Wellington 6140. A portion of the sale goes towards Forest & Bird’s conservation work.

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Of about 350 species of seabirds worldwide, 39 are found in the Kermadec region. Up to six million seabirds breed on the Kermadec Islands each year, including Kermadec storm petrels and Kermadec little shearwaters, Tasman boobies and New Zealand sooty terns. On the deck of the HMNZS Canterbury, student voyagers, came across a Kermadec storm petrel, disorientated after flying into the huge ship that had appeared as if from nowhere. This bird was lucky – with a little help from the students, it was back in the air again and safe. If you’re lucky enough to venture on to the island, you will come across very familiar birds – pükeko, tüï and käkäriki. These natives dominate the trees and grass and are natural, early-morning alarm clocks for the DOC workers and any visiting guests.

Thank you from Kiwi battlers Like many charities, almost 100 per cent of our funding comes directly from our supporters making donations, leaving gifts in their wills and becoming part of our regular giving programme. Each year we work incredibly hard to secure sufficient funds to protect threatened native plants and animals. In our last appeal letter we focused on Kiwi battlers – some of our lesser-known species that are struggling with introduced predators. I am delighted that we raised almost $50,000 to support our work helping these native creatures. Many thanks for generous donations.

Forest & Bird General Manager Mike Britton


Fresh view of Buller’s birds M

ost of us will have seen some of J G Keulemans’ iconic images of New Zealand birds before but none of us will have seen all of them like this. Geoff Norman’s beautifully produced Buller’s Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of J G Keulemans was released last month, marking the fruition of four years’ work on the project. The book includes reproductions of 35 illustrations the Dutch-born Keulemans produced for the groundbreaking first edition of Walter Buller’s A History of the Birds of New Zealand published in parts in 1872-73. Also included are 48 watercolours painted by Keulemans for Buller’s 1887-88 second edition and another 12 from the 1905-06 Supplement. All the 35 illustrations in the 500 copies of the first edition – 17,500 pictures in all – are hand-coloured lithographs, a process in which the black outlines were printed on the page and individually hand coloured. Keulemans provided 48 illustrations for the second edition, which were reproduced using chromolithography, a primitive form of colour printing. Keulemans’ original watercolours lost their vivid colours in the printing process and the tones were not always accurate. Subsequent editions and reproductions have generally been based on the printed versions from the second edition, rather than the original artwork. The handcoloured images of the first edition have rarely been reproduced, a rare exception being Forest & Bird’s limited facsimile version of the first-edition book produced in 1983 at a cost of $600 each. “Being involved in printing and production, I was 1 familiar with the second edition. I’d seen the odd print from the first edition and I realised how little known that edition was. So my initial idea was to do something more modest and just reprint the first-edition pictures,” Geoff says. But luck intervened on a trip to Britain in 2008, when he visited the Natural History Museum’s ornithological library near London. After seeing the original 48 second-edition watercolours, Geoff decided to expand his project to include these watercolours, which had never before been reproduced as a full set using modern techniques. Te Papa Press became interested in publishing the book last year. “When I first started thinking about doing the project in 2008, I thought 2012 would be a really good year for it to come out because it’s the centenary of Keulemans’ death.” Geoff, who has been involved in publishing for 25 years and is a keen tramper, has written the book’s text, which includes the history of richly illustrated ornithological books. These were enjoying a golden age when Walter Buller set out for London in 1871 to publish his New Zealand book. There is also a section on the life and work of Keulemans, who, despite being one of the world’s most prominent bird illustrators, was poorly paid and never achieved financial security. There is also a section on the history of conservation in New Zealand and the longstanding importance of Keulemans’ illustrations in portraying our country, such as those once used on our stamps and currency. “His illustrations were some of the best pictures available until photography really developed in the last 20 to 30 years to a level able to capture our birds well.” n David Brooks

WIN A BOOK

Forest & Bird is giving away one copy of Buller’s Birds of New Zealand: The Complete Work of J G Keulemans (Te Papa, $150). To enter the draw, email your entry to draw@forestandbird. org.nz Please put Buller’s Birds in the subject line and include your name and address in the email. Or put your name and address on the back of an envelope and post to Buller’s Birds draw, Forest & Bird, PO Box 631, Wellington 6140. Entries close on November 30.

2

1 Geoff Norman 2 J G Keulemans’ illustration of a pair of huia, with the female

at the top.

Forest & Bird

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our people

Driving home nature messages C

entral North Island Field Officer Al Fleming’s “office” covers thousands of square kilometres across four regions. With 13 branches within his domain and multiple Forest & Bird projects dotted across the countryside, Al needs a reliable and safe car to get around. It’s also important his car upholds Forest & Bird’s environmental values and leaves the lightest carbon footprint possible. Through a generous arrangement with Honda, Al and Forest & Bird’s five other field officers are lucky enough to each have use of a Honda Civic Hybrid to get around their open-air “offices”.

The hybrid, powered by both a conventional engine and an electric motor, uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions than its petrol-powered counterparts as it recaptures energy during deceleration and braking. Al spends about 40 per cent of his time in meetings, attending forums, visiting branches and project sites and engaging with people outside his Tauranga headquarters. His biggest project, the Kaimai-Mamaku Connection, alone necessitates frequent travel to and from the Aongatete Forest and meetings with sponsors, partners and volunteer groups. With all that time on the road, Al also appreciates the hybrid’s safety features. “It’s got air bags and great visibility. It’s also very powerful, so when you need acceleration on a hill or passing, it’s there.” He enjoys the extra features that make the Honda Civic a comfortable drive. It’s easy to spot the field officers’ cars. The photo montages on the cars illustrate Forest & Bird’s conservation campaigns, which help raise our profile in the community. The photos have proven a handy educational tool. “I often get comments about the paintwork, particularly from kids. I point out the different birds and the different parts of New Zealand depicted on the car,” Al says. Al Fleming enjoys the comfort and driver safety features of Honda’s eco-friendly hybrid when he’s out on the road for Forest & Bird.

Southland activist honoured S

outhland Forest & Bird member Donald Lamont in July received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his longstanding work for the Southland environment. Donald, of Gore was honoured at the Southland Environment and Conservation Awards, for more than 60 years of planting native plants on his farm. Donald and his late wife, Margaret, were horrified at the felling of native bush when they arrived to farm at Pine Bush, and began replanting their farm in natives along with exotic shelter belts. The couple joined Forest & Bird in the 1950s and took committee roles, working bees, tree planting, submission writing, letters to the editor and protest actions. Donald is still an active member. Environment Southland’s Gary Morgan said: “Donald is a great advocate for the integration of trees on farms and the benefits they provide for stock shelter, soil conservation, water quality, wildlife habitat and commercial return.’’

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Donald recently took the lead in starting a group to replant the old Gore landfill site with natives, following through with Margaret’s idea. His activism continues with his current involvement in the campaign to stop the mining of lignite in the Mataura Valley. “This is out-of-date technology and the power used to remove the overburden and then mine the lignite is a waste of resources,’’ he said. “We should be putting investment in to clean, green energy such as solar.’’ Gary Morgan said: “Donald is a person who quietly listens, quietly persuades, and his calmly reasoned arguments have a lasting effect.” n Jenny Campbell


Botanist who built Fernglen M

uriel Fisher, who died in July, became interested in nature during her Wellington childhood. A teacher encouraged her to aim for a botany degree but the Depression and World War II put paid to that. In the 1930s Muriel joined the Tararua Tramping Club, which helped expand her knowledge of the natural world and reach her beloved alpine plants. She also became a member of the Wellington Botanical Society soon after its inauguration. During World War II Muriel was posted to Auckland, and in 1952 she married Bill Fisher and settled on the seven-hectare Fisher property, Fernglen, in Birkenhead. “Together we were building up a collection of native plants. Bill was good at propagating, so we grew them on – tötaras, kauris, heaven knows what. Being a teacher, I introduced children to the genus and species names of plants,” Muriel told Forest & Bird North Shore Branch member Anne Rimmer last year. With Muriel’s love of alpine plants, she developed Fernglen as a garden of rare and interesting plants, and created a native plant museum. Muriel and Bill Fisher were recognised for their work by jointly being awarded the Loder Cup in 1970. Muriel and Bill joined the Auckland branch of Forest & Bird in the mid-1950s and were part of the group that fought to have the North Shore become a branch. The branch was involved in preserving several pieces of bush on the North Shore, especially in the Birkenhead/Northcote area. Muriel and Bill were also active members of the Auckland Botanical Society. Muriel was passionately involved in conservation campaigns such as Coppermine Island, Manapöuri, South

Island beech forests and Pureora. She was also a North Shore branch councillor at Forest & Bird national meetings. Muriel wrote seven books, and her first, Gardening with New Zealand Plants, Shrubs and Trees, introduced people to planting natives in their garden. She was also an honorary member of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, and a patron of the North Shore Horticultural Society. Muriel was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in 1985. It was a great relief for Muriel when the local council bought Fernglen in 1989. It is now a much-loved reserve next to Kauri Park. Muriel outlived her husband by 25 years and died two days short of her 97th birthday on July 23 at a rest home where she had spent the last few months working with the owners to plant a native garden. n Claire Stevens

Teacher with love of nature I

t was with great sadness that the Manawatü branch of Forest & Bird learned of the death in July of Margaret Neilson, a founding member of the branch. Margaret served in many ways over decades, including roles on the branch committee from the 1950s into the 21st century. She was a life member of Forest & Bird, and represented the branch as a councillor at national AGMs. Margaret was an avid proponent of native plants, and she had a front lawn full of native onion leaf orchids. She illustrated nature walk brochures and introduced a plant of the month at branch nights. She was a pioneer of conservation, and enjoyed imparting her knowledge and passion for the natural world to others, young and old. As early as the 1940s, after visiting Europe, she wrote of concern about deforestation in Switzerland. Children learned much about their natural surroundings from Margaret when she taught at Mt Somers and Governors Bay. She was the founding director of the

Palmerston North Junior Naturalists, which continues today. Margaret experimented with making her own paper and recycled as much as possible. She was also a keen historian and the branch archivist, donating her double garage to the cause. She found interesting fossils while hunting for moa bones in the 1940s.  It is hard to determine if being a sawmiller’s daughter contributed to her understanding of the importance of conserving native forests and a sense of responsibility for doing something about it.  What is not hard to determine is that we are better off because of what she did. n Paul Demchick Forest & Bird

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our people

Farewell to Nicola and Aalbert F

orest & Bird farewells two conservation staff who made tremendous contributions to the organisation. In September, Conservation Advocate Nicola Toki moved to the Animal Health Board and Lower North Island Field Officer Aalbert Rebergen left New Zealand to return to his native Netherlands. Nicola joined Forest & Bird from the Department of Conservation in 2010 in the thick of the Schedule 4 mining debate. She drew on her television experience to build the public profile of Forest & Bird. Nicola led the Freshwater for Life work, including organising the 2011 Forest & Bird conference, and developed the vision for a predator-free New Zealand. Her advocacy work boosted the profile of the Denniston Plateau, käkäpö recovery, the Mackenzie Country, the use of 1080 and DOC. Nicola starred in Forest & Bird videos and lifted our game on Facebook and Twitter. Since 2008, Aalbert focused on freshwater issues in

the lower North Island, especially the water quality and river flows of Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay rivers and their role as river bird habitat. He completed surveys of birds on Wairarapa rivers and initiated training for Wellington Regional Council’s river engineering team, showing them how to care for bird habitats (while managing flood flows). Aalbert also completed surveys of native plants and animals around the Wairarapa coast. He was Forest & Bird’s staff expert on bird identification questions and administered the BirdLife International Community Conservation Fund for Forest & Bird and Birdlife Pacific.

proud to be a

member

Birds captured on canvas B

ay of Plenty Forest & Bird member Adrian Muller loves watching New Zealand’s birds but he takes his interest a step further by painting them. The retired college geography teacher is keen to sell some of his works to support Forest & Bird. “My interest in painting sprang from wanting to capture the beauty of our avian life in combination with the physical environments in which the birds live,” Adrian says. “Some of my fellow artists in the Tauranga Society of Artists criticise my work, kindly of course, having me on about making the backgrounds as important as the foreground birds. But that is my intention. So the kötuku in their breeding plumage at Ökarito Lagoon with its ethereal light is a combination I have tried to capture. The albatrosses

gamming on Campbell Island with its megaherbs is another.” Adrian lives in Päpämoa , and last October answered Forest & Bird’s call for volunteers to help with the clean-up after the Rena container ship ran aground off Tauranga. “I think Forest & Bird is a wonderful organisation, and I just wish they had more funding,” he says.

2

1 1 Adrian Muller and his granddaughter Charlotte. 2 One of Adrian’s bird paintings – kötuku at Ökarito Lagoon.

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If you have a story to tell about why you joined Forest & Bird or why you’re proud to be part of Forest & Bird, please let us know. Send your letter (up to 200 words) to Marina Skinner, Forest & Bird, PO Box 631, Wellington 6140 or to m.skinner@forestandbird.org.nz Members who appear on this page will receive a copy of the beautiful hardback Kermadec: Nine Artists Explore the South Pacific.


Observations GRAEME HILL

Why I enjoyed the Rena disaster F

irst, as somebody once said, like execution, it concentrates the mind. Or more so, like inoculation, some brief pain and a little rash can be reassuring for the future. It was a salutary lesson that may well have been learned much harder by a massive oil tanker rather than a cargo vessel and we were reminded that extreme weather phenomena are not necessary for such calamities. Human stupidity can do the trick nicely. Rena was front page news and the lead story every night. Oil-caked seabirds clambered all out-of-sorts in blue plastic tubs, obviously suffering. Pathetic, less fortunate ex-birds long since done for marked the high-water mark on the sand. Herds of media were dispatched in all haste and at some expense to “be there”. The scene seethed with volunteers and concerned citizens atop kikuyu dunes not knowing quite what to do but wanting to do something. It was heartening to see such a rally from citizenry and media in the face of a clear and present local environmental bummer, but I kept wondering, and hoping … When is it going to happen? When are they going to say it? Surely they must ... but it never happened. It is estimated that about 1500 birds died due to the Rena’s spewforth, and certainly untold other creatures were affected in some malignant way. To this day, when the Rena incident is mentioned, it is qualified in sombre and cautionary tones as “New Zealand’s largest environmental disaster”. It is, of course, nothing of the sort. It’s not even close, and that was what I was waiting to hear. Are you sitting down? Every year 26,000,000 native New Zealand forest birds perish to mammalian predators. It’s a number so crazy that it seems unbelievable, but don’t think for a second that some hysterical shrieking loon is picking numbers out of a hat and ramping things up for eco-shock purposes. This is a very conservative estimate, and it should be headline news. John Innes of Landcare Research is not a man prone to hysteria. He’s pragmatic and rigorously scientific in approach, and his paper on the subject should be better known. Here’s the calculation. Forest covers 23 per cent, or 5.98 million hectares, of New Zealand. Assuming a miserly five native bird nests to each hectare in any nesting season, that’s 29.9 million nests. Of those, 73 per cent, or 21.827 million nests, fail. At an average of two eggs per nest, that’s a total of 43.654 million chicks that fail to fly from the nest. Predators are blamed for at least 61 per cent of those. That’s 26,628,940 chick and egg losses. This does not E

Forest coverage

23%

include the loss of mature birds to predation, introduced birds, or the much larger number of native birds that nest in parks, gardens and farms. In a recent interview on the subject, I asked John why there isn’t more of an outcry and hence action. “I’m constantly struck at the lack of fuss .... I’m sure most people just don’t understand the magnitude of it,” he said. That’s why I enjoyed the Rena disaster. It showed how ordinary folk react when confronted with a clear environmental catastrophe, and it gave me hope about the response if the bigger picture is better known. The shame is that it isn’t. It’s fair to assume that a large part of the public motivation during the Rena spill was to help rectify a single, directly human-caused affront to nature. Humans stepped up as an apology to the natural world for human folly. This is good and noble, but, frankly, the creatures don’t give a damn. They care not for “sorry”, nor do they appreciate our motives. They and all our precious wildlife just need our action. Our inaction on introduced predators is also calculable. Conservatively it is 17,333 times worse every year than a single reckless cargo ship’s crew. Graeme Hill hosts the Weekend Variety Wireless show on Radio Live.

1 1 A line-up of oil-covered

casualties from the Rena oil spill. Photo: Karen Baird

2 One of the 26 million native

New Zealand birds that introduced predators kill every year.

V

E

R

Y

Y

E

A

2

R

Nest failures

5.98 29.9 million hectares

million nests

73%

43.654

million chicks fail to fly from the nest

chick and egg

losses

26,628,940

21.827 million Forest & Bird

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Our greatest 1

Water Conservation Orders – national parks for rivers – are good for wildlife and people. By Hamish Carnachan.

T

here’s a perception that hydro-electric power generation equates to renewable energy. We’re told this by power companies that claim they’re good corporate citizens, so it must be true. Right? The water used to power the turbines might be renewable but an often conveniently overlooked fact is the number of free-flowing rivers we have left to support such schemes is finite and dwindling. Put simply, wild rivers are not renewable. Recent decisions by power generators to pull out of, or put on hold, development plans that would have destroyed the wild nature of the Mökihinui, the Arnold and the Wairau rivers, all under the guise of meeting increasing energy demand, might indicate that hydro schemes are a threat on the wane. That remains to be seen, but the demand for irrigation water for booming intensive agriculture represents an escalating danger. Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) are an important protection mechanism in New Zealand’s statute specifically to head off threats to nationally outstanding waterways. WCOs effectively give a water body the same status as a national park. The Resource Management Act (RMA) allows WCOs to safeguard the outstanding recreational amenity or intrinsic ecological values that the water in a river or lake provides. It is the highest level of protection that can be given to any water body, preserving its natural, scenic and recreational values. Fifteen WCOs protect water bodies and, in many instances, a vast network of tributaries – important in

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their own right – that feed into them. New Zealanders appreciate our national parks but generally lack awareness of the similar status bestowed on key waterways. This is why Fish & Game NZ, assisted by Forest & Bird, Whitewater NZ, the Environmental Defence Society (EDS), Federated Mountain Clubs and several other groups, has embarked on a campaign to raise the profile of WCOs. In 1981 Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson, along with Ecologic’s Guy Salmon and EDS chairman Gary Taylor, was instrumental in securing this legal protection mechanism for outstanding rivers. EDS was behind the first WCO to protect the North Island’s Mötü River. Fish & Game has since initiated 12 WCOs and championed all the others. The organisation’s interest in these waterways has centred on protecting fisheries, but important cultural, natural and recreational values have also benefited. Equally, the WCOs led by other groups have helped recreational anglers. Safeguarding rivers from extractive irrigation and development creates wins for wildlife, the community, recreation and the economy through tourism opportunities.

T

he Manganuioteao River runs for about 138 kilometres from its headwaters on the western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, and is the third-largest tributary of the Whanganui River. Anglers, kayakers, campers, trampers and birdwatchers enjoy the river, which could have been lost forever without far-sighted locals who recognised the significance of the wild waterway and took steps to protect it from development.


Buffer for Manganuioteao

In the late 1970s the river and the deep valley it has incised were identified by the then New Zealand Electricity Department as a potential site for a hydro-electric power scheme. Landowners, anglers, community members and local groups opposed the scheme, and, in 1979, petitioned Parliament to save the river. Protective measures came into force in 1981 when the then Rangitïkei-Wanganui Catchment Board successfully recommended to the National Water and Soil Conservation Authority that the minimum flow for the Manganuioteao River be restricted to no less than 90 per cent of the remaining natural flow for five years. This effectively halted any immediate hydro developments, though this protection was set to expire in 1987. With the threat hanging over the river, conservation groups continued to seek enduring protection. In 1988 an application was made under section 20D of the Water and Soil Conservation Amendment Act (1981) for a WCO. Finally, in 1989, the Manganuioteao River and its main tributaries (including the Waimarino and Orautoha streams, and the Orautoha and Mangaturuturu rivers) were protected by a WCO to recognise its wild and scenic characteristics, its significant wildlife habitat for whio (blue ducks) and as an outstanding recreational fishery.

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orest & Bird member Derek Kelly has spearheaded a successful campaign to create a 500-metre buffer zone restricting development around the Tongariro World Heritage Area and National Park. One of the major aims of the buffer zone to be created by the Ruapehu District Council is to better protect the river and stream network on the fringes of the park, such as the Manganuioteao River and its wildlife, including whio, brown kiwi and New Zealand falcons. “They are all ground-nesting birds and, with greater housing development on the fringes of the national park, you get pests and domestic pets introduced, which put a lot of pressure on the native wildlife,” says Derek, who lives at Pökäkä near Öhakune. Restrictions in the new buffer zone will limit the number of houses that can be built to much lower levels. There will also be more restrictions on quarrying, commercial forestry and installing utilities such as power pylons in the buffer zone. In the past 15 years there has been a lot of development on the park’s edge. Housing density has increased after the minimum lot size for building a house was cut from 20 hectares to one hectare. Derek started campaigning for a buffer zone in 2008 when a subdivision was approved without public notification on farm land adjoining both his property and the Manganuioteao River. With support from North Island Conservation Manager Mark Bellingham, he has fought a long battle to ensure the environmental sensitivity of the area next to the World Heritage Area is recognised. “The council has made a very sensible decision to put some rules in for the benefit of the park,” he says. Derek says the new rules should work well if DOC liaises with landowners to protect nature on the edge of Tongariro. “If DOC, regional councils and private landowners work more closely together, we can get better control of stoats, feral cats and possums. Co-operation, trust and respect are the key to this initiative.” Besides making pest control easier, the buffer zone will also help retain wildlife corridors linking the national park with nearby conservation areas.

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ormer All Blacks captain Anton Oliver is lending his name to the promotion of WCOs. “When I look at how much we have lost to damming, to extraction for irrigation, to pollution from intensive agriculture, I think it’s so important that we understand and appreciate what wild and scenic rivers we have left – we’re dealing with a finite resource here,” he says. WCO protection is far from watertight, however. The government’s ECan Act legislation in 2010, which dissolved Canterbury’s elected regional council, also set up the potential demise of Canterbury’s WCOs, enabling yet more development of the under-siege river systems. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright released a report in May this year calling for greater protection of New Zealand’s wild and scenic rivers and the WCO provisions. The report concluded that freshwater management policy ignores the value of preservation and gives preference to dams and storage lakes, which “have the greatest impact and cause irreversible damage”. Dr Wright’s latest paper, combined with the New Zealand Conservation Authority’s November 2011 report, Protecting New Zealand’s Rivers, and the new awareness around WCOs, adds volume to the chorus of concern about the state of our rivers and lakes and the increasing pressure they are under. Hamish Carnachan is Fish & Game NZ’s communications manager. More information: www.outstandingrivers.org.nz 2

1 An angler on the Manganuioteao River, in the centre of the

North Island. The river has been protected by a WCO since 1989. Photos: Fish & Game

2 Whio, or blue ducks, near Tongariro National Park will be helped

by an initiative by Derek Kelly.

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A Christmas gift for nature

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ew Zealand’s native plants and animals are our national treasures. Unfortunately, too many of them are under pressure from introduced pests. Stoats, rats and possums eat the eggs and chicks of native birds, and sometimes the adults. Possums devour native plants, not only destroying the plants but also depriving native birds and insects of the food they need to survive. Forest & Bird has been a dedicated force in controlling pests since we started nearly 90 years ago. Our volunteers carry out pest control on the ground nationwide. Our advocates and conservation staff promote the value of pest control at the local and national level, and we are driving the development of a predator-free New Zealand vision. Pest control is hard, unpleasant and vital work for our native species to flourish. This Christmas, help our native plants and animals by buying a Forest & Bird gift. All donations will go towards helping Forest & Bird control pests and look after our native plants and animals. This way, you can give a present that shows someone you love them and that you love nature too.

Little blue penguin The population of the world’s smallest penguin is in decline. Stoats are the biggest threat to their survival, though cars, dogs and human interference are contributing to their difficulties. Through our Places for Penguins programme we’ve built and distributed more than 250 nesting boxes around Wellington’s south coast. These boxes keep out predators and protect nesting little blue penguins, their chicks and eggs when they’re most vulnerable. Forest & Bird plans to roll out Places for Penguins to other penguin hotspots.

Fantail Fantails, or pïwakawaka, are one of our most commonly seen native birds, which is surprising because few fantail chicks make it to adulthood. Their resilience as a species is because of their prolific breeding and pest control to stop rats eating fantail eggs and chicks. Forest & Bird’s pest control work helps reduce rat numbers and enable more juvenile fantails to survive.

Rätä Possums adore rätä, and after over a century of vigorous browsing by these introduced pests many areas no longer have the rätä’s magnificent blooms. Mature trees can die within three years of intensive browsing by possums. 1080 has already proved an effective tool to reviving rätä. Forest & Bird continuously lobbies for more extensive use of effective pest control.

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Kererü and fantail: Photos: Roger South • Little blue penguin: Photo: David Hallett • Kiwi: Photo: DOC • Possum: Photo: Rod Morris • Rat: Photo: DOC

North Island brown kiwi The North Island brown kiwi is classified as endangered and the population is declining. Young kiwi have no defence against mammal predators, especially stoats, and 94 per cent of chicks die before adulthood in areas without pest control. Forest & Bird is part of the Kiwi Recovery Programme, which is working to give kiwi a better chance of survival in the wild.

Kererü Kererü, or New Zealand pigeons, play a vital role in maintaining the health of our forests. They are the only surviving species able to disperse the large seeds of native trees such as karaka, püriri, tawa and taraire. However, predation and competition with possums for food have caused a decline in kererü numbers. Through our nationwide Kererü Count and possum control work in lowland native forests, Forest & Bird is working to make sure kererü don’t follow the fate of the moa, and the health of our forests is maintained.

Long-tailed bat Over the past century, bat numbers have declined dramatically with major habitat loss and predation from introduced pests, such as rats. Without human intervention, it’s estimated long-tailed bats will become extinct in the next 50 years. Forest & Bird’s Bat Recovery Programme at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve in Marlborough includes extensive pest trapping and monitoring to give the bats the best chance of survival.

Your gift This Christmas you can give a gift that could help save one of our threatened species. By buying one of Forest & Bird’s six gift options you’ll be supporting our work to help some of New Zealand’s most beloved and endangered creatures. Visit www.forestandbird.org.nz, email membership@forestandbird.org.nz or phone 0800 200 064 to buy a Forest & Bird Christmas gift. Please contact us at least two weeks before December 25 so a gift card can be sent to you, your friend or family member before the big day.

< Donations help Forest & Bird control pests > Forest & Bird

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in the field

Nesting instinct A bird’s home for its offspring is a wonder of natural engineering, with some lessons for humans. By Ann Graeme.

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our house is your home. It provides shelter for you and your family. A nest is a home, too, where a pair of birds raises a family. The nest helps the parent birds keep their eggs and chicks safe and warm. Eggs are inclined to roll and chicks are inclined to wander. A cup is ideal to keep them together, and this shape dictates the architecture of most bird nests, even if they are on the ground. Small birds usually make neat cup nests of fine material, often bound together with spider webs. Larger birds make twig platforms or bowls. A tüï nest looks quite rough with its platform of twigs and sticks and its meagre lining of moss. But the nests of the kererü and the white-faced heron are rougher still, so loosely constructed that an egg can sometimes fall through the gaps. It’s not just the design and building materials of your house that matter but also its location. Different bird species avoid competition by choosing different nest locations within the forest or within each tree. Riroriro, the grey warbler, fixes its hanging nest at the ends of slender branches. There are plenty of predators 54

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keen to eat eggs and chicks but this nest is hard to see and even harder to get to. The riroriro’s Australian ancestors built pendulous domed nests to outwit possums and ruru as well as snakes and goannas. Here in New Zealand, faced with some of the same predators, the same design contributes to the success of this little native warbler. The chaffinch relies on camouflage to protect its nest. It builds a sturdy cup and decorates the rim with lichen. This makes it almost invisible in the fork of a branch against a lichen-speckled tree trunk. The silvereye’s nest design has a bob each way – a bit of camouflage and a bit of predator evasion. The nest is a scrap of a thing. It looks flimsy and half completed, slung like a hammock between the outmost twigs of a bush, yet it is surprisingly tough. The cup is roughly woven of fibre or horse hair and lined with moss and thistledown. It could easily pass for debris caught in the branches. This nesting strategy helps the silvereyes, recently arrived from Australia, to thrive in New Zealand. The introduced blackbird and thrush don’t employ any

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such subterfuge. Their big, bulky nests, lodged firmly on a substantial branch, are easy for the most casual observer to spot and for a predator to find. And predators do find them, but the birds have a strategy. They nest three or four times in a season, increasing the chances that a few chicks will fledge. And their old nests survive for years, acting as empty decoys that discourage predators from looking inside “just in case”. Building a nest is hard work. Why not re-use them? After all, we use our houses year after year and sell them on to new occupants. But we maintain our homes, keeping the carpet vacuumed and the bathroom clean. Nests are far less hygienic. Newly hatched chicks are toilet trained in that they produce neatly parcelled droppings that the parents carry away in their beaks. Older chicks defecate over the rim of the nest. But still, by the time the chicks fledge, the nest is littered with dirt, skin, and feather scales, all supporting thriving populations of bacteria and lice. A new nest is best for hygiene reasons, even if it requires hundreds of journeys to find and carry nest material. Nest-building styles are rooted far back in the evolution of families of birds. All the species of finches build cupshaped nests. All the members of the Australasian warblers build hanging nests with a side entrance and a little porch. No previous experience or teaching is needed. Nestbuilding architecture is hard-wired into every bird’s brain. Birds are the descendants of the dinosaurs, extinct some 65 million years ago. Perhaps it was the evolution of mammalian predators that spurred so many bird species to build nests, hidden in green foliage and hard to get to. A recent Kiwi Conservation Club activity was led by Dr Ian McLean, a consummate observer of bird behaviour. He told us the stories retold in this article and showed us the nests in the trees. Then we tried to make our own nests. Despite nimble fingers, big brains and a fair bit of parental help, the nests were poor things. They would never weather a storm and no self-respecting bird would inhabit them. Yet with only their beaks and feet and an imprinted plan, birds 2

create homes for their offspring which astonish us in their workmanship and durability. Our species so dominates the planet now that the entire world is akin to our “nest”. We do not have the option of moving on and building another. The natural world is filled with wonder – but we take it for granted. Yet we are part of this web of life whose diversity has been fashioned by millions of years of evolution. It is the only home we have, and we must cherish it, and be careful not to foul it. With thanks for the assistance of Dr Ian McLean.

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1 Chaffinches build sturdy nests

fringed with camouflaging lichen.

2 A grey warbler feeds well-grown

chicks in a nest that is just about to fall apart at Ngä Manu Nature Reserve, Waikanae. Photos: Ngä Manu Images

3 Silvereye nests are roughly woven

fibre or horse hair and lined with moss and thistledown.

4 A fantail incubates eggs in its nest

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in a kawakawa shrub.

Nest know-how The outside of trees and bushes presents a curtain of leaves. You need to burrow in to the tree trunk and look outwards to spot the nests silhouetted against the sky. Nests are usually up above your head so you can’t look inside them directly, and you will disturb the birds if you climb the tree. Make a periscope by fixing a toy mirror to the top of a stick, angled so you can hold it above the nest and see down into the cup. Wait for incubating birds to leave the nest before having a quick look with your mirror. If you notice a bird flying constantly into a bush or tree, it is likely it has a nest there. If it is carrying a nest material it will be busy building. If its beak is full of food, it will be feeding chicks. If the chicks are loud, do not go near, even with your mirror, because you could cause them to fledge early. Be careful not to disturb parent birds. Don’t look too often or go too close.

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The critically endangered Archeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frog in the spotlight. Photo: Kate McKenzie

Nature at night Forest & Bird supporters showed their love for our wild places and wildlife at any time of day in a photo competition on our Facebook page during winter. More than 100 stunning photos of plants, animals and scenes at night were sent.

The two winners were Kate McKenzie, who captured a critically endangered Archey's frog, and Rob Wilson, who photographed Wellington's south coast. www.facebook.com/ForestandBird

The drama of Wellingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s south coast at night. Photo: Rob Wilson

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Special Banking Package for all Forest & Bird members and supporters. We’re very excited to be working with Forest & Bird, another New Zealand organisation that believes, we have a vital role to play in supporting the prosperity and sustainability of our country for future generations. Working with Forest & Bird, we’ve set a goal to raise $300,000 over three years to support key environmental projects. You can help. When you choose The Co-operative Bank, we’ll make a donation directly to Forest & Bird. Check out the details below, and remember to quote Forest & Bird when you pop into your local branch, or call us on 0800 554 559.

Current Account • • • •

No monthly account fee No transaction fees on one account No monthly Telephone banking facility fee No charge to set up Automatic and Bill Payments in the first month

Pre-approved Overdraft* • An initial pre-approved overdraft of up to $1,000 • No establishment fee (saving you $25)

Personal Loan* • 2% p.a. discount off our personal lending rate for unsecured and vehicle loans when you credit your full salary into a transaction account with The Co-operative Bank. • Half price administration fee (saving you $100) • We’ll donate up to $200 to Forest & Bird when the loan is drawn down

Home Loan* • • • •

0.20% p.a. discount off our standard floating home loan rate 0.20% p.a. discount off any of our standard fixed home loan rates Up to $1,000 towards your costs We’ll donate $350 to Forest & Bird when the loan is drawn down

Savings* • We’ll donate $25 to Forest & Bird when you open a savings account and: – Credit your full salary into a transaction account, or – Set-up a monthly direct credit to the savings account of at least $20 per month. • Limited to the first 200 accounts opened every 12 months. One donation per customer.

*Product terms and conditions apply. The pre-approved overdraft is subject to a satisfactory credit check. Personal loans must include a minimum of $3,000 of new lending. The home loan offers apply to loans of $100,000 and over and terms and conditions apply. For all lending products, The Co-operative Bank lending criteria, and fees, apply. The home loan discount is not available on Low Equity loans, and a Low Equity interest rate premium will apply. A copy of our Investment Statement and current Disclosure Statement are available from any branch of The Co-operative Bank. The Co-operative Bank reserves the right to change or withdraw the above offers, which only apply to personal banking accounts, from time to time without prior notice. These offers are not available in conjunction with any other special offers from The Co-operative Bank.


going places

A forest

among the farms

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Marina Skinner finds a precious fragment of Horowhenua forest relatively unchanged for thousands of years.

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owhere in New Zealand is there still such a forest,” ecologist Geoff Park wrote of Papaitonga in 1995. This lush North Island lowland forest has grown here for thousands of years. Kahikatea and tawa rise above thickets of young nïkau palms, and kiekie vines froth like waterfalls from the treetops. At the forest’s centre is a wetland and lake full of eels, fish and waterbirds. I’d never heard of Lake Papaitonga before I read Ngä Uruora – Park’s commentary on ecology and history – though I’d driven past the State Highway 1 signpost north of Wellington dozens of times. Park’s story of the lake in the Horowhenua sand country is gripping. The late ecologist tells of an untouched forest, of iwi treachery and a massacre, of a gentleman ornithologist’s colonial trickery and of New Zealand’s geological journey. Papaitonga Scenic Reserve looks small and insignificant on a satellite map. Its soft forested edges sit incongruously with the bleached pastoral squares all around it. A few kilometres to the west of the 135-hectare reserve is the Tasman Sea and to the east is the Tararua Range.   Turn off the highway just south of Levin into Buller 58

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Road and you’re on a ride back to the 1890s, when Sir Walter Buller claimed the land from a rangatira of the Muaüpoko people in a slightly dodgy deal. By the 1890s, Lake Papaitonga’s thick forest fringe was already an oddity in the axed and burned Horowhenua plain. Buller – a magistrate and natural historian and famous for his illustrated A History of the Birds of New Zealand book – was a nature lover, but not as we think of conservationists today. His view of Papaitonga was shaped by the English landscaped garden tradition, and he cleared areas of forest to enhance the views from his house. He planted firs and oaks, and introduced swans and geese to the lake. He valued New Zealand’s native birds but he saw them as he saw Mäori – a dying race beyond resuscitation. Buller joined expeditions to catch endangered birds, including huia, for his cabinets of stuffed wildlife. But without Buller, we would not have turned off the highway more than a century later. We parked in sunshine at the reserve entrance. The track leads into the dark forest and, as it descends, joins a boardwalk across a watery bed of flax and reeds. On


a spring morning the tüï and pïwakawaka seemed as happy as we were. The boardwalk flexes around a massive kahikatea cradling kiekie and other treetop plants. It’s 10 minutes to the Papaitonga Lookout, and there’s the lake, the water in the distance, separated from us by 100 metres or so of reeds and harakeke. The lake’s biggest island, named Papaitonga, is natural but further away is a smaller island, created by the Muaüpoko people with wakacarried soil and mussel shells as a retreat from attack. In 1823, 600 Muaüpoko died on Papaitonga Island in a musket massacre by Te Rauparaha’s Ngäti Toa. The local iwi paid dearly for earlier killing Te Rauparaha’s kin in a tussle for superiority as Ngäti Toa moved into the district. In the forest, the kahikatea, tawa and pukatea block the sun, and the tangle of nïkau palms, ferns and vines is forbidding. I wonder if my view of the forest is darkened by thoughts of the slaughter here almost two centuries ago. Forest & Bird’s Horowhenua members often visit Papaitonga. “On one good visit not so long ago we went at night,” long-time member Joan Leckie says. “We saw glow worms and giant kökopu in the stream, and sat at the lookout listening to the ruru calling.” The water quality of the lake is not what it was in the 19th century. Waiwiri Stream runs from Lake Papaitonga (Muaüpoko also call the lake Waiwiri ) to the sea, and the quality of the water and the shellfish at its mouth are being studied, Joan says. After 20 minutes we were again in the sun at Otomuri Lookout. We kept our backs to the sharp line of the fence that keeps out stock, and looked across the swamp below filled with toetoe and grasses to the lake water, then to Papaitonga Island. A shapely karaka tree beside our lunch seat was coming into flower. Pïwakawaka and tüï moved between the karaka, a cabbage tree and mähoe, and we had a close view of two grey warblers, which I usually hear rather than see. Kererü passed by overhead. The birds weren’t unusual but their numbers were great, and their calls were a fabulous and constant chorus. We were too far away to see the range of birds on the water, though we could pick out black swans and Canada geese. As we ate our sandwiches, harrier hawks drifted over the farmland, perhaps scanning for rabbits or small birds. Park reminds us that centuries earlier people by the lake might have seen larger birds of prey gliding down from the Tararua Range. The Haast’s eagle, te hökioi, would have hunted the moa of Muaüpoko’s sand country. At Papaitonga we have the chance to see how the entire Horowhenua plain looked 130 years ago, though the sounds of the käkä, kökako and huia are missing. Without Sir Walter Buller, Papaitonga could so easily have been like the paddocks over the fence.

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Getting there Travel there:

From SH1, turn west into Buller Road, 5km southwest of Levin.

Walking there: The Department of Conservation cares for Papaitonga Scenic Reserve. The tracks are mostly flat, and boardwalks cross wetland. To Papaitonga Lookout: 10 minutes. A 20-minute loop track continues to Otomuri Lookout at the south of the lake.

LEVIN • PAPAITONGA SCENIC RESERVE KAPITI ISLAND TARARUA RANGE

1 The lake and the largest island from Otomuri Lookout. Photo:

Ellen Brook

2 Papaitonga Island in the middle of the lake. Photo: Craig Potton 3 Young nïkau palms, ferns, vines and seedlings fill the gaps

between the forest giants. Photo: Craig Potton

4 Grey warber, or riroriro. Phoro: David Hallet

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community

conservation

Intensive care for bay’s birds W

ho can forget the heart-breaking images of dead seabirds and shorebirds coated in black oil from the wrecked Rena in October 2011? The oil spill had a devastating effect on the Bay of Plenty’s birdlife, and there’s still much work to be done to restore the environment. Forest & Bird is working with central government, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and WWF-NZ on a threeyear Bay of Plenty Shorebird Protection Programme to re-establish shorebird populations reduced in the oil spill. Work has begun on pest control, habitat restoration, an education programme in schools, and raising public awareness of threats to our native shorebirds. “This year’s breeding season and the success of the Shorebird Protection Programme is critical to the long-term recovery of bird populations,” says Forest & Bird Central North Island Field Officer Al Fleming. Since July, Forest & Bird has contracted naturalist Julian Fitter to co-ordinate shorebird protection in the Eastern Bay of Plenty from Otamaräkau to Waioeka, just east of Whakatäne. This work includes supporting the existing efforts of Forest & Bird’s Eastern Bay of Plenty branch, community volunteers, the Department of Conservation’s work programme, the regional and district councils and the

bay-wide Coast Care programme. The Maketü Öngätoro Wetlands Group is also doing great work at Maketü and expanding shorebird protection at Pukehina. The Bay of Plenty’s beaches, estuaries and harbours are important nesting sites for many shorebird species, including oystercatchers and terns. But the impact of the oil spill on the local New Zealand dotterel population was the most serious concern. “Dotterels are a threatened species, with a population somewhere between 1500 and 1800,” says Al. “After the Rena disaster, 60 adults were removed from Bay of Plenty beaches. Five died from a lung infection while in captivity. No eggs or chicks were removed from the beaches so they were lost as well. This has put even more importance on this year’s breeding season and the success of the Shorebird Protection Programme.” Forest & Bird and DOC have donated funds to help the Ornithological Society of New Zealand’s (OSNZ) annual Bay of Plenty shorebird/wader survey, which was cancelled last year because of the Rena spill. The survey will help in monitoring the health of the dotterel population. A new spotting scope will help OSNZ members identify bird species and individuals by the pattern and colour of bands on their legs. Forest & Bird is continuing to work with Rena operator Costamare and insurer the Swedish Club to create a fund for the long-term recovery of the region’s environment. Al says the oil spill was a tragedy for nature, and Forest & Bird supports the independent review being launched to ensure our environment is safeguarded from future disasters. “I hope the lessons from the Rena can teach us how to avoid other potential environmental catastrophes if we pursue offshore oil and gas drilling.” 1 Forest & Bird Central North Island Field Officer Al Fleming

helped co-ordinate volunteers after the Rena oil spill in the Bay of Plenty last year. Photo: Kim Westerskov

2 This year’s breeding season is very important to help rebuild

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New Zealand dotterel numbers in the Bay of Plenty. Photo: David Hallett

Little students help little dolphins Y

ear 2 students in Room 29 at Owairoa Primary School in Howick raised $150 to help protect Mäui’s dolphins. The six year olds designed, made and sold badges, and donated the money they raised to Forest & Bird’s campaign to protect the world’s rarest and smallest dolphin. It is estimated that just 55 of the dolphins, which are found along the west coast of the North Island, remain. Room 29 students from Owairoa Primary School with posters about critically endangered Mäui’s dolphins.

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Planting to the beat T

he hills of Waiheke Island’s Onetangi Forest & Bird Reserve resounded with reggae in August at the Hauraki Islands branch’s first Get Your Hands Dirty! DJ planting day. Hauraki Islands branch committee member Lincoln Jackson said the idea behind the live DJ was to entice more volunteers from beyond the branch and provide light entertainment for the workers. About 80 volunteers planted 1800 eco-sourced native trees to a mix of Afro beat, Latin American and reggaeinspired music. Lincoln said the event attracted a range of volunteers. “It really was a good mix of people. I’m in my 30s and there were a good number of people in my demographic and quite a few of them brought their kids. There were some older Forest & Bird members that came along too.” DJ Chica Licorica tempered her usual dance club beats to suit the fun, family-friendly atmosphere, opting for a relaxed style to accommodate the diversity of volunteers. Co-organiser Jacqueline Joseph said the day was a huge success. “The weather was perfect for planting [though there was] a bit of a slow start because we couldn’t get the generator going for the DJ and music. But as the people streamed in over the hill, tüï song suddenly rang out, loud and clear.” It took just three hours to plant all 1800 plants, and then the event concluded in a more traditional style, with a sausage sizzle for the workers. Lincoln said volunteers responded positively to the DJ, and the branch is considering similar events in the future. The planting is part of the branch’s long-term project to revegetate a six-hectare block that was added to the

1 1 About 80 people took part in the

Hauraki Islands branch’s inaugural live DJ planting day.

2 DJ Chica Licorica kept volunteers

happy in their work with mellow background music. Photos: Nick Beveridge

2 50-hectare Onetangi Reserve about four years ago. “We want to revegetate it, keep a track going through it, keep the view shafts and maybe include some picnic areas,” Lincoln said. “It’s connecting to some bush that’s more mature beech on a neighbouring section. And we have another area that we’ll be revegetating, so it will be like a stepping stone.” n Jolene Williams

Northland retreat created A

mong Northland’s groves of avocados and herds of cows, 14-hectare Arethusa Reserve, near Pukenui, has more than 15 stands of kauri, an ancient dune lake and a thriving population of native birds, including grey warblers, fantails, several species of duck and Australasian bitterns. Many Northland Forest & Bird volunteers have transformed this area over the past 27 years, and some of the remaining volunteers travel 125 kilometres to tend the land. “The dedication of these volunteers is just incredible,” says branch secretary Anita Herbert. “John McBain is one of the long-standing caretakers. He has watched his kauri seedlings grow into rickers and then mature trees. If you watch him at work, you can see his connection to this land is palpable.” As well as clearing weeds and planting native plants, the Far North branch has built a walking track and a small cottage, with solar panels. The two-bedroom lodge sleeps six people and has a fireplace. Tents can be pitched in an

area outside, so large working parties and groups can be accommodated. Bathroom facilities are in a separate ablution block. Anita says the “superb six” who tend this land are mostly in their 80s, and a new brood of pestbusters, planters and weeders is needed to keep the forest alive. To join the monthly working bees or to stay at Arethusa Lodge, please contact Anita at herbit@xtra.co.nz John and Christine McBain beside a kauri tree they grew from seed. Photo: Anita Herbert


community

conservation

Kaiköura welcomes back locals T

he annual return of some of Kaiköura’s favourite residents was cause for celebration in late September. The Welcome Home street party put the spotlight on the Hutton’s Shearwater Trust’s project to provide a new secure nesting site for the nationally endangered seabird. The birds were previously confined to just two vulnerable breeding sites high in the Kaiköura Ranges, which are

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1 School children turned out in force

for Kaiköura’s Welcome Home street party. Photos: Nicky McArthur

2 Geoff Harrow, who discovered the

Hutton’s shearwater nest sites high in the Kaiköura Ranges in 1964, at the Welcome Home street party.

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threatened by predators and potential natural disasters such as landslides. The trust, supported by Forest & Bird and others, built a predator-proof fence around the 2.1-hectare breeding site on the Kaiköura Peninsula in 2010, five years after the first chicks were moved there. The street party was timed to coincide with the first arrivals of Hutton’s shearwaters for this summer’s breeding season. Vintage and classic cars taking part in the Kaiköura Hop led the celebrations, followed by a parade of schools, preschools and other project supporters. Local musicians and other groups entertained the crowd at the village green and in the town’s shopping area. Street party organiser and trust member Nicky McArthur said the event grew out of efforts to educate locals, especially school children, about the special seabird in their midst. “I want Kaiköura to celebrate that it is our bird – it only breeds here – and that we have this wonderful project here. That colony on the peninsula is the jewel in Kaiköura’s crown; it’s conservation at its best,” she says. The first chick was born at the new breeding site last year and more are hoped for this season, trust treasurer and Forest & Bird Kaiköura branch committee member Lindsay Rowe says. Just over 100 chicks were transferred to the site earlier this year and another 100 chicks are expected to be transferred next March. By transferring the chicks early in their life, it is hoped they will return to the peninsula site when they reach breeding age after two or three years feeding at sea off Australia. “It’s all a big learning curve; we’re rewriting the rule book all the time,” Lindsay says. n David Brooks

Historic shield for student research A

Forest & Bird Nelson-Tasman branch member in September presented a historic natural history shield to a winner of the Cawthron Science and Technology Fair. The shield was created in the 1930s by one of Forest & Bird’s founders, Perrine Moncrieff, a noted ornithologist and writer who established two other environmental groups – the Bush and Bird Preservation Society in 1928 and the Friends of Nelson Haven in 1973. Students from the wider Nelson province competed for the Bush and Bird Preservation Society shield until the 1990s, when the shield was lost. After its rediscovery last year, it was awarded in the Nelson Cawthron Science and Technology Fair for a student’s research on birds’ food colour preferences. This year the shield became a permanent part of the fair. The shield is awarded for a science-based project about a native plant, bird or other animal and associated habitat. Allie Tonks from Nelson College for Girls won the shield this year for her project, Why Move a Mussel, which researched the effects of noise frequency on mussels.

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Nelson-Tasman branch committee members Gillian Pollock and Helen Campbell attended the ceremony for the branch. “We consider this to be a very appropriate way to celebrate the life of Perrine Moncrieff,” said Helen, who presented the shield this year. “She had a life-long interest in education of the young as well as being an active and ardent protector of the natural values, especially birds, and their habitats. Without Perrine we would not have crucial areas of the country protected, such as Abel Tasman National Park, Farewell Spit Nature Reserve, Nelson Lakes National Park and a swathe of other land.” Allie Tonks with the natural history shield created by a Forest & Bird founding member, Perrine Moncrieff. Photo: Sarah Johns


A special offer for Forest & Bird readers Wild Encounters 1

Kids have fun with fungus Y

our average New Zealander can probably identify a few varieties of supermarket-bought mushrooms and would happily eat them in a stir-fry. But 36 Nelson-Tasman Kiwi Conservation Club (KCC) children and their parents can tell their Mycenas and Clavarias apart after taking part in a Funky Fungus weekend at St Arnaud last autumn. As well as kayaking, bush walks and lessons with a local Department of Conservation ranger, the children went on a fungi-finding mission under the guidance of fungi enthusiast and former KCC co-ordinator Helen Campbell. In just a couple of hours the children had identified 21 species within a five-square-metre patch on the forest’s edge at Kerr Bay. Even Helen, a local resident, was surprised to discover so many varieties within a small space, especially as the unusually dry autumn had hampered fungi growth. Helen said the hands-on (but don’t touch) tutorial opened the youngsters’ eyes to part of the forest’s ecosystem that is typically overlooked. “They all know red toadstools because they’re so big, so obvious and so colourful. The majority of fungi are not at all obvious, and normally the children would’ve walked on that path and only noticed the big ones. “The point I was trying to make is that fungi are everywhere, and several KCC kids are now constantly on the look out for fungi.” Nelson-Tasman KCC co-ordinator Wendy Wallis said they also received a lesson on how fungi contribute to plant life. n Jolene Williams

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1 KCC children listen intently to Helen Campbell’s talk about

Our popular Going Places articles and other naturethemed travel stories from Forest & Bird magazine have been collected together in a handy book edition, Wild Encounters, published by Penguin. From the rocky shore to dense rainforests, from braided riverbeds to alpine meadows, Wild Encounters is a handy guide to the best place to experience New Zealand’s wildlife and wild places. Wild Encounters retails for $40, but Forest & Bird readers can purchase this book for just $35, including post and packaging, with $10 from each copy ordered going towards Forest & Bird’s important conservation work. That means you will receive this beautifully illustrated guide and get to help nature in New Zealand. Please send a cheque for $35 to: Wild Encounters Forest & Bird PO Box 631 Wellington

An Eco-Retreat

Forest & Bird’s fabulous Ruapehu Lodge is a wonderful spot for a summer weekend. The Tongariro Crossing is nearby, as well as many other wonderful day walks in Tongariro National Park. Summer off-peak rates now apply. Check out www.forestandbird.org.nz/ruapehulodge for more information.

fungus. Photo: Wayne Hennessey

2 Fungus of the genus Clavaria. Photo: Gideon Climo 3 Fungus of the genus Mycena. Photo: Gideon Climo 

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Where to Find Birds in Far North New Zealand By Detlef Davies Self published, $28.50 – detlefdavies@yahoo.com Reviewed by Karen Baird

Korokoro Falls, Te Urewera National Park, from Craig Potton New Zealand

Craig Potton New Zealand Photos by Craig Potton Craig Potton Publishing, $79.99 ($120 deluxe edition) Reviewed by Craig McKenzie This substantial book invites the reader to look closely at every photograph. All are large on the page, traditionally presented with a white border. Each image must stand on its own as the supporting captions are simply the location or landmark name. The adjoining photograph is often related and occasionally the two photographs work together to create a single image. The photographs are not the vivid saturated photographs currently prevalent; they are subtle images that quietly draw you in. Subjects range from the mountains to the coast, with forest and rivers on the way. Any evidence of humans is missing from nearly all the photographs and not obvious when they are there. My favourites are among the geological images, in which I enjoy the play of light over textured land. The photographs are recognisably New Zealand but not easily recognisable locations. The exceptions are Mt Tasman reflected in Lake Matheson and Milford Sound. Even then, the Milford Sound photograph has a twist, with the top half of Mitre Peak obscured by a small cloud with just the very top peaking out. This 160-page work celebrates the 60th birthday of Potton – one of New Zealand’s best-known landscape photographers and a longstanding Forest & Bird Executive member – and the 25th anniversary of his publishing company. John B Turner’s introductory essay examines Potton’s photographic and conservation philosophy and his place in New Zealand photography. I will be happy to return to this work when I need to strengthen my resolve to spend as much time as possible in our wilderness.

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This will be a must have for anyone interested in birds planning to visit the Far North or even for locals unfamiliar with all the nooks and crannies of this geographically complex region. Davies is a Far North local who has built up considerable knowledge over several years about the best places to find birds. He is also the regional representative for the Far North Regions Ornithological Society of New Zealand. The book is self published, which means the style and content can be completely controlled by the author, and in some ways this makes the guide more like a set of useful notes with accompanying beautifully hand-drawn maps. The only disadvantage seems to be that the beautiful photos are not shown to their best effect on lower-quality paper. The book is well set out, divided into sub-regions, and provides information on 40 sites, including how to get there and what to expect to see when you do. I was delighted to see Davies has included a section on pelagic birding. Many people forget that most of our wonderful feathered fauna are seabirds. Being in the subtropical-temperate region means that venturing offshore one can expect a great diversity of seabirds. These include species that breed on our northern islands, such as the Kermadec petrel, and albatrosses that wander north from their southern breeding grounds, particularly in winter. Davies provides a checklist of the 163 species he has seen in the Far North, plus a list of important contacts, including tour companies, the Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird and the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, and the allimportant code of conduct we expect from birders to protect the birds and respect people’s privacy.

Exploring Aotearoa: Short walks to reveal the Mäori landscape By Peter Janssen New Holland, $34.99 Reviewed by Marina Skinner It’s a surprise to learn that more than 7000 pä sites have been identified around New Zealand. Most of them you’d walk across and think were the earth’s natural lumps and bumps. With Peter Janssen’s guide, at least you can find and recognise the pä sites, even if very little is known about their history. But Janssen does tell of local iwi conflicts, which long ago would have created a need for the fortified pä. He also retells Mäori myths about an area, for instance, Mäpara Scenic Reserve, where kökako are found, and the legend of why Mäui gave the kökako its long legs. The South Island section is comparatively small, reflecting the lesser Mäori settlement there, but it includes the Wairau Lagoons/Te Pokohini, one of New Zealand’s most important archaeological sites. The remains of the food the first settlers of Aotearoa dined on, including moa, have been found here, along with a necklace of a style common in the Marquesa Islands. The walks are mostly easy, and include directions, a grade and the likely time. Janssen has made it easy for us to connect in a small yet tangible way with our Mäori heritage.


One-stop nature shop

Stocking fillers Wildflowers of New Zealand, photography by Rob Suisted, text by Matt Turner (New Holland, $19.99) It’s easy to take our native flowers for granted but Rob Suisted’s up-close shots make you gasp at their beauty. The rengarenga lily of every second suburban garden here shows off its pink-tinged petals and the yellow and white stamen as if straight out of a Dr Seuss picture book. Suisted divides New Zealand’s flora into coastal, open country, wetland, forest and alpine habitats, and covers the common and the rare. Post this small paperback to your overseas pals to make them long for home. Landmarks of New Zealand, photography by Rob Suisted, text by Matt Turner (New Holland, $19.99) Rob Suisted has collected the stand-out features – both built and natural – of our landscape in one little volume. Some have icon status – the lighthouse at Cape Rëinga, Ngäuruhoe’s symmetrical dome and the Moeraki boulders – and others are less expected – a sperm whale’s tale off the Kaiköura coast, the jetty at Nelson Lakes’ Rotoiti and the carved Paikea riding the whale on top of Whängärä marae’s wharenui. The landscapes are sharp, densely coloured and gloriously lit.

For sale at Forest & Bird’s online shop Forest & Bird lapel pin ($5)

Attracting Birds and Other Wildlife to Your Garden, by Gordon Ell (New Holland, $45)

Kermadec: Nine Artists Explore the South Pacific, edited by Bronwen Golder and Gregory O’Brien ($40)

Prices include post and packaging within NZ https://secure.forestandbird.org.nz/shop

Keep your photos and videos safe for future generations Special offer for Forest & Bird members

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Forest & Bird

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Costa Rica & Galapagos Wildlife Experience

The Kaikoura Coast Track

NORTH PERU

One of New Zealand’s finest private walks Three day loop walk Self-contained accommodation Daily luggage transfer

BIRD TOURS

20 Day small group tour departs 28 May 2013

North Peru is one of the richest places in the world for birds.

CALL 0800 804 737 www.southernexposuretours.co.nz

Experience a bird bonanza with us in 2013 • Two and three week tours • Quality lodges and hotels • Other wildlife, plants & culture • Small groups • Realistic prices

South America

$225

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New Zealand Birdsong Clock

CONTACT US FOR: Departure dates, prices,

itineraries, trip reports and checklists for our 2012 tours and any other information

New Improved, now in stock

DETLEF & CAROL DAVIES 180 LANDING ROAD, KERIKERI 09 407 3874 • 0211464237 detlefdavies@yahoo.com

Small Groups + Independent travellers CALL NOW FOR FREE 2012 BROCHURE Latin Link Adventure The South American Specialists 0800 528 465 / info@latinlink.co.nz

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Guided Walks

BIORESEARCHES CONSULTING BIOLOGISTS ESTABLISHED 1972

Iceberg Trail, Greenland

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Bush & Beyond

Environmental Impact Studies Surveys of Marine, Freshwater & Terrestrial Habitats Pollution Investigations Resource Consent procedures Archaeological; Historic Places Appraisal bioresearches@bioresearches.co.nz www.bioresearches.co.nz P.O Box 2828 Auckland PH: AUCKLAND 379 9417 Fax (09) 307 6409

South America • Africa Himalayas • Europe

Your Kahurangi NP specialists Celebrating 20-years of conservation and tourism working together

Walks to suit everyone!

Come with us, RAINFOREST, NATURE and JETBOATING TOURS, all year round. Viewing of nesting colony from September to March. Ph. 0800 52 34 56

www.whiteherontours.co.nz

Owhango Homestay B&B Set in stunning 2 acre garden with resident native birdlife. On the edge of Ohinetonga Reserve, Whakapapa River and Tongariro Forest Kiwi Sanctuary. $80 double • $60 single Contact: Tania Dewitt, 77 Owhango Rd, ph: 07 895 4413 e:tania.dewitt@paradise.net.nz www.owhangoretreat.com

The trust provides financial support for projects advancing the conservation and protection of New Zealand’s natural resources, particularly flora and fauna, marine life, geology, atmosphere and waters. More information is available from the Trust, at: PO Box 10-359, Wellington

Advertise to Forest & Bird readers here Please contact

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Send cheque and delivery details to Mercury Pots Plus PO Box 72042 Papakura 2244, Auckland Tel 09 298 0955 Fax 09 298 0950 email: mercurypots@xtra.co.nz

T: 03 528 9054 E: info@bushandbeyond.co.nz

www.bushandbeyond.co.nz

Miranda Homestead B&B n

White Heron Sanctuary Tours

Auto off in the dark

Light wood surround with glass face 3xAAA batteries Price $89 inc GST and Postage

n

Ron and Edna Greenwood Environmental Trust

12 NZ bird calls

n n n n n

Godwits migration view many birds on the seabird coast visit the centre Large comfortable homestead Enjoy cooked breakfast on the deck Relax in Miranda hot mineral pools Savour local fish and chips Walk the Regional Parks Hospitable welcome from Ellie who was an international flight attendant and is a Registered Nurse

An online gallery of original and reproduction antique maps and prints, featuring scenes of New Zealand, birds and botanical prints, perfect as gifts. We ship worldwide.

397 Front Miranda Rd. R.D.6 Thames 3576 Tel 07 867 3377 mob 021 866 332 email ellie.vette@hotmail.com

www.thamesaccommodation.co.nz Pohatu Penguins & Marine Reserve Banks Peninsula Scenic nature tours with local volunteers conserving Banks Peninsula’s biodiversity. • Coastal Retreat • Sea Kayaking www.pohatu.co.nz email: tours@pohatu.co.nz phone: 03 304 8600

Karen Condon PHONE 0275 420 338 EMAIL mack.cons@xtra.co.nz

ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION SERVICES

Protection and enhancement of bush and natural areas: n Weed control n Animal pest control n Revegetation planting n Surveys and monitoring n Restoration Plans erin@remnantrestoration.co.nz PO Box 81-038, Whenuapai, Auckland 0662 Ph: (09) 833 4789 / 027 637 0911 Auckland Region and Beyond


Parting shot B

rett Robertson captured the apparent competition between a spotted shag and a white heron at the mouth of the Hutt River, near Wellington. He couldn’t help reading the heron’s mind: “Want to see some real wings, shortie?” Brett and his young son often visit the Hutt River to photograph the birdlife. “There’s an amazing variety of birds there. We’ve been going there because it’s so accessible,” he says. Brett took the photo with a Nikon 3100, which he says is just as good as the more expensive cameras he’s used in the past.

If you are a Forest & Bird member and you have a stunning photo that showcases New Zealand’s special native plants or animals, you could be the next Parting Shot photographer. Each published Parting Shot photo will receive a 16Gb SanDisk Vault for long-term storage of photos and files from Camera & Camera. It is worth $139. Please send a low-res digital file and brief details about your photo to Marina Skinner at m.skinner@forestandbird.org.nz Winners will be asked for higher-resolution files. Forest & Bird

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2012 index A

Albatrosses, May 16-21 Annual conference, May 11, Aug 2, 10, 39-43 Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Feb 11 Aongatete, May 62 Aorangi Restoration Trust, Feb 61 Arethusa Reserve, Nov 61 Ark in the Park, Feb 6 Avatar moth, Aug 6

B

Baird, Karen, Feb 10, 26-27, Aug 29 Bats, Feb 43, Aug 19, Nov 53 Bell, Joe, Aug 36 Bellingham, Mark, Aug 10, 26-29 Best Fish Guide, Feb 16-21, May 8

Aug 6, Nov 8 Department of Conservation, Feb 8, 13, May 28-29, Aug 10, 42 Distinguished Life Member, Aug 33

E

Eels, Feb 43, Aug 19 EEZ Bill Aug 7, Nov 12, 28 Epiphytes, May 35 Ewers, Maryann, Aug 33 Executive, Aug 35

F

Fairy terns, Feb 10, Aug 29 Fantails, Nov 52 Farming, May 34, 37, Aug 43, Nov 7 Fenn, Anne, Aug 32 Fernbirds, Aug 44-47 Fishing, Feb 11, 16-21, May 21, 64, Aug 12-13, Nov 16-27 Fiordland monorail and tunnel, May 29, Aug 8 Fleming, Al, Feb 25-26, Feb 29-30, May 53, Aug 28, Nov 46 Freshwater, Feb 42-43, May 36-37, Aug 8, 10, 62, Nov 30-33 Freshwater fish, Feb 42-43

G BioBlitz, Feb 7, May 22-24, Aug 6 Biodiversity offsetting, May 38-41, Aug 10 Bird of the Year, Nov 9 BirdLife International, Feb 14, May 13, 63, Aug 11 Birdman Contest, Nov 10 Bissell, Eleanor, Aug 32 Blakely, Frances and James, Aug 34 Britton, Mike, Feb 14, 21, Aug 22 Browning, Claire, Aug 7, Nov 28 Buller, Sir Walter, Nov 45, 58-59 Bushy Park, Aug 63 Butterflies Aug 37

C

Climate change appeal, May 7, Aug 6, Nov 9 Chatham täiko, Aug 52-53 Chatham tüï, Aug 53 Christchurch earthquake, May 60, Aug 62 Cobb Valley, Nov 10 Composting, August 48-50 Conning, Linda, May 61, Aug 33 Cook’s scurvy grass, Aug 56-57 Co-operative Bank, Nov 41 Crown Minerals Act, Nov 28 Cutler, Andrew, Feb 2, May 2, Aug 2, Nov 2

D

Denniston Plateau, Feb 7, Feb 48-50, May 7, May 22-25, 39,

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Garden Bird Survey, May 10, 26-27 Gaskin, Chris, May 16-21 Geckos, May 31, 32 Giant land snails, Feb 8, Aug 19 Golden Spade Award, Aug 34 Greenstone Valley, May 42-44 Groos, Jack and Anne, Aug 32

H

Hackwell, Kevin, Feb 56-58, May 29, 38-40, Aug 24-25 Harbourview-Orangihina Reserve, Aug 44-47 Hauraki Islands branch, Nov 61 Henderson Island, May 53 Hill, Graeme, Nov 49 Honda Tree Fund, Feb 9, Aug 9 Hurford, Rachel and Charles, Aug 38 Hutton’s shearwaters, Nov 62

I

Nov 53 Kiwi, Feb 41, 65, May 46, Aug 19, Nov 16-20, 53 Köhï Point, May 61 Kruger, Tamati, Aug 22

L

Lamont, Donald, Nov 46 Land and Water Forum, Aug 8 Lewis, Jim, Aug 36 Lizards, May 31, 32 Lynch, Jenny, Feb 60

M

Mackenzie Country, May 13, Nov 7 Mackenzie, Thomas, May 33 McSweeney, Gerry, Feb 35, May 28-30 Manganuioteao River, Nov 51 Mangaräkau Swamp, Feb 62 Mangroves, Aug 26-30 Marine Conservation, May 9, Aug 7, 11, 13-14 Martin, Debs, May 22-24, Aug 6, 14-19 Maturin, Sue, Feb 13, 37, Aug 10 Mäui’s dolphins, May 13, 14, Aug 12-13, Nov 13, 60 Mayor Island, Aug 58-59 Miller, Jen, May 60 Mining, Feb 7, May 7, Nov 10 Mistletoe, Nov 33 Mökihinui River, Aug 14-19, Nov 34-35 Morgan, Gareth, May 64, Aug 41 Morrison, Al, Aug 42 Mt Cass, May 41

N

Native plants, Feb 64, Aug 19, 56-57, 66 Nests, 54-55 New Zealand dotterels, Feb 32-34 New Zealand falcons, Nov 9 New Zealand Forest Accord, Feb 56 Salmond, Dame Anne, Nov 30-33 New Zealand sea lions, Feb 21, May 13 Ngäi Tühoe, Aug 22, Nov 12 North Shore branch history, Feb 62

Insects, Nov 39-40 Irrigation, May 13, Nov 7

O

J

P

Jones, Robyn, Aug 34 Jones, Rob, Aug 37

K

Kahurangi National Park, Nov 34-35 Kaiköura, Nov 62 Kapiti Island, Nov 20 Kärearea, Nov 9 Kauri dieback, May 54-56 KCC, Feb 12, 38, 40, Nov 63 Kermadecs, May 13, Nov 42-44 Kererü, Feb 12, 58-59, May 12,

Old Blues, Aug 32-33 Pacific conservation, Feb 13, 44-46, 66, May 53, 65, Nov 36 Papaitonga Scenic Reserve, Nov 58-59 Paremata Flats Reserve, Aug 64 Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Aug 42 Pestbusters Award, Aug 34 Pest control, Feb 13, May 46-49, 53, 58-59, 62, Nov 49, 52-53 Places for Penguins, Feb 60,

Nov 52 Powelliphanta snails, Feb 8, Aug 19 Praying mantis, Feb 22-23

Q

Quinn, Heidi, Aug 60

R

Rangitïkei branch, Aug 65 Rätä, Aug 19, Nov 52 Rebergen, Aalbert, Feb 61, Nov 48 Rena oil spill, Feb 24-30, Nov 49, 60 Renewable energy, Aug 24-25 Resource Management Act, Nov 12, 28 Rivers, May 36-37, 60, Aug 1419, Nov 50-51 Rooke, Bill, Aug 33 Routeburn Valley, May 42-44 Ruka, Milan, May 36-37

S

Seabirds, Feb 18-20, 64, May 16-21, 53 Sharks, Nov 22-27, 44 Shorebirds, Feb 30, 32-34, Nov 60 Skinks, May 32 Subedar, Katrina, May 14, Aug 12 Sustainable business, Aug 24-25

T

Te Urewera National Park, Aug 22, Nov 12 Toki, Nicola (nee Vallance), May 7, 64, Nov 48 Tourism, May 28-31 Transmission Gully, May 41 Turtles, May 9

W

Waitaki District Council, Nov 7 Waituna Lagoon, Feb 37 Water Conservation Orders, Nov 50-51 Watts, Jonathan, Aug 24-25 Weeds, May 58-59 Wëtä, Feb 52-54, Aug 47 Wetlands, Feb 62, May 50-52, Aug 44-47, Nov 14 Whio, Aug 19, Nov 51 Wright, Jan, Aug 42


branch directory

Upper North Island Central Auckland Branch: Chairperson, Robert Jones; Secretary, Marvynne Kalaugher, Tel: (09) 638 7964. centralauckland.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Far North Branch: Chairperson, Dean Baigent-Mercer; Secretary, Michael Winch, Tel: (09) 401-7401. farnorth.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Franklin Branch: Chairperson, Keith Gardner; Secretary, Vacant, Tel: (09) 238-9928. Franklin.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Hauraki Islands Branch: Chairperson, Corin Gardiner; Secretary, Glenda Came, Tel: (09) 372 3432. haurakiislands.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Hibiscus Coast Branch: Chairperson, Pauline Smith; Secretary, Katie Lucas, Tel: (09) 427-5186. HibiscusCoast.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Kaipara Branch: Chairperson, William McNatty; Secretary, Barry Wilson. kaipara.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Mercury Bay Branch: Chairperson, Augusta Macassey-Pickard; Secretary, Lynn Hampton, Tel: (07) 866 2463. mercurybay.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Mid North Branch: Chairperson, Tony Dunlop; Secretary, Raewyn Morrison, Tel: (09) 422-9123. midnorth.branch@forestandbird.org.nz North Shore Branch: Chairperson, Richard Hursthouse; Secretary, Jocelyn Sanders, Tel: (09) 479-2107. NorthShore.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Northern Branch: Chairperson, Vacant; Secretary, Beverly Woods, Tel: 022 092 0721. Northern.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz South Auckland Branch: Chairperson, John Oates; Secretary, Lee O’Leary, Tel: (09) 948-3867. SouthAuckland.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Thames-Hauraki Branch: Chairperson, Ken Clark; Secretary, Marcia Sowman, Tel (07) 868 8307. thameshauraki.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Upper Coromandel Branch: Chairperson, vacant; Secretary, vacant. uppercoromandel.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Waitakere Branch: Chairperson, Robert Woolf; Secretary, Jan Edmonds, Tel: (09) 833-6241. Waitakere.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Central North Island Eastern Bay of Plenty Branch: Chairperson, Mark Fort; Secretary, Lesley Swindells, Tel: (07) 307-0846. EasternBayofPlenty.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Gisborne Branch: Chairperson, Grant Vincent; Secretary, Wendy Vincent, Tel: (06) 868 8236. gisborne.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Rotorua Branch: Chairperson, Chair rotates among committee members; Secretaries, Margaret Dick, Tel: (07) 357-2024 or Delight Gartlein Tel: (07) 357-2575. Rotorua.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Hastings-Havelock North Branch: Chairperson, Ian Noble; Secretary, Jennifer Hartley, Tel: (06) 870-3477. HastingsHavelockNorth.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Horowhenua Branch: Chairperson, Debbie Waldin; Secretary, Angelina Smith, Tel: (06) 368 3337. horowhenua.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Kapiti-Mana Branch: Chairperson, John McLachan; Secretary, Judy Driscoll, Tel: (04) 904-2049. KapitiMana.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Lower Hutt Branch: Chairperson, Russell Bell; Secretary, Jennifer Vinton, Tel: (04) 565-1379. LowerHutt.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Manawatu Branch: Chairperson, Paul Demchick; Secretary, Alexandra King, Tel: (06) 354 8370. manawatu.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Napier Branch: Chairperson, Neil Eagles; Secretary, Barbara McPherson, Tel: (06) 845-0425. Napier.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz North Taranaki Branch: Chairperson, Carolyn Brough; Secretary, Shirley Schofield, Tel: (06) 758-3680. NorthTaranaki.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Rangitikei Branch: Chairperson, Diana Stewart; Secretary, Dot Mattocks, Tel: (06) 327-8790. Rangitikei.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz South Taranaki Branch: Chairperson, Dave Digby; Secretary, Carol Digby, Tel: (06) 765 7482. SouthTaranaki.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Upper Hutt Branch: Chairperson, Barry Wards; Secretary, Fred Fowler, Tel: (04) 569-7187. UpperHutt.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Wairarapa Branch: Chairperson, Geoff Doring; Secretary, Peta Campbell, Tel: (06) 377 4882. Wairarapa.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Wanganui Branch: Chairperson, Esther Williams; Secretary, Ray Hutchison, Tel: (06) 345-2651. Wanganui.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Wellington Branch: Chairperson, Peter Hunt; Secretary, David Ellison, Tel: (04) 233-1010. Wellington.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

South Island Ashburton Branch: Chairperson, Edith Smith; Secretary, Val Clemens, Tel: (03) 308-5620. Ashburton.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Central Otago-Lakes Branch: Chairperson, Mark Ayre; Secretary, Denise Bruns, Tel: (03) 443-5462. CentralOtagoLakes.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Dunedin Branch: Chairperson, Jeni Pelvin; Secretary, Secretary, Jean Bretherton, Tel: (03) 456-0514.. dunedin.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Golden Bay Branch: Chairperson, vacant; Secretary, Jo-Anne Vaughan, Tel: (03) 525 6031. goldenbay.branch@forestandbird.org.nz Kaikoura Branch: Secretary Jody Weir, Tel: 027 8973 444. kaikoura.branch@ forestandbird.org.nz

South Waikato Branch: Chairperson, Anne Groos; Secretary, Jack Groos, Tel: (07) 886-7456. SouthWaikato.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Marlborough Branch: Chairperson, Andrew John; Secretary, Lynda Neame, Tel: (03) 578-2013. Marlborough.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Taupo Branch: Secretary, Laura Dawson, Tel: (07) 378 5975, laura@reap.org.nz

Nelson-Tasman Branch: Chairperson, Craig Potton; Secretary, Gillian Pollock, Tel: (03) 548-8583. NelsonTasman.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Tauranga Branch: Chairperson, David Dowrick; Secretary, Pam Foster, Tel (07) 571-0974. Tauranga.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Te Puke Branch: Chairperson Cathy Reid; Secretary, Bev Nairn, Tel: (07) 533-4247. TePuke.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Waihi Section: Chairperson, Ian Bradshaw; Secretary, Krishna Buckman, Tel: (07) 863-8455. Waihi.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Waikato Branch: Chairperson, Philip Hart; Secretary, Jim Macdiarmid, Tel: (07) 849-3438. Waikato.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz

Lower North Island Central Hawke’s Bay Branch: Chairperson, Dan Elderkamp; Secretary, Rose Hay, Tel: (06) 858 8828. Centralhawkesbay.branch@forestandbird.org.nz

lodge accommodation

Arethusa Cottage An ideal place from which to explore the Far North. Near Pukenui in wetland reserve. 6 bunks, fully equipped kitchen, separate bathroom outside. For information and bookings, contact Anita Herbert, 71C Totara North Road, RD2 Kaeo, Northland 0479. Tel: 09 405 1720. Email: herbit@xtra.co.nz

Tai Haruru Lodge, Piha, West Auckland A seaside haven set in a large sheltered garden on the rugged West Coast, 38km on sealed roads from central Auckland. Close to store, bush reserves and tracks in the beautiful Waitakere Ranges. Sleeps up to 6 in 1 dble brm, 1 brm and lounge, Lounge has wood burner, dining area and kitchen. Self-contained unit has 4 single beds. Bring food, linen and fuel for fire and BBQ. Off peak rates apply. Booking: Jean and Peter King, 10 La Trobe Track, Karekare, Waitakere City. Tel: (09) 812 8064. Email: hop0018@slingshot.co.nz

Waiheke Island Cottage Located next to our 49ha Wildlife Reserve, 10 mins walk to Onetangi Beach, general stores etc. Sleeps up to 8 in two bedrooms. Lounge, well-equipped kitchen, separate toilet, bathroom, shower, laundry. Pillows, blankets provided. No pets. Ferries 35 minutes from Auckland. Enquiries with stamped addressed envelope to: Robin Griffiths, 125 The Strand, Onetangi, Waiheke Island. Tel: (09) 372-7662.

North Canterbury Branch: Chairperson, Lesley Shand; Secretary, Rachel Hurford, Tel: (03) 337-3132.. northcanterbury.branch@forestandbird.org.nz South Canterbury Branch: Chairperson, Vacant; Secretary, Margaret McPherson, Tel: (03) 686-1494. SouthCanterbury.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz South Otago Branch: Chairperson, Roy Johnstone; Secretary, Jane Young, Tel: (03) 415-8532. SouthOtago.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz Southland Branch: Chairperson, Craig Carson; Secretary, Jenny Campbell, Tel: (03) 248-6398. Southland.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz West Coast Branch: Chairperson, Kathy Gilbert; Secretary, Clare Backes, Tel: (03) 755-8697, WestCoast.Branch@forestandbird.org.nz For branch postal addresses, please see www.forestandbird.org.nz

William Hartree Memorial Lodge, Hawke’s Bay Situated 48km from Napier, 8km past Patoka on the Puketitiri Rd (sealed). The lodge is set amid a 14ha scenic reserve and close to many walks, eg: Kaweka Range, Balls Clearing, hot springs and museum. The lodge accommodates up to 10 people. It has a fully equipped kitchen including stove, refrigerator and microwave plus tile fire, hot showers. Supply your own pillows, linen, sleeping bags etc. For information and bookings please send a stamped addressed envelope to Mike and Linda Hay, 172 Guppy Road, Taradale, Napier 4112. Tel: (06) 8444651. Email: hayhouse@clear.net.nz.

Ruapehu lodge, Tongariro National Park The newly built lodge is 600 metres from Whakapapa Village. It sleeps 32 people – three bunkrooms sleep 4 each, one sleeps 6 and two upstairs sleeping areas sleep 14. Supply your own bedding and food. Bookings and inquiries to Forest & Bird, PO Box 631, Wellington. Tel: (04) 385-7374. Email: office@forestandbird.org.nz

Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington Harbour Joint venture accommodation by Lower Hutt Forest and Bird with DOC. A modern family home with kitchen, 3 bedrooms, large lounge and dining room, just 20 mins sailing by ferry

from the centre of Wellington or 10 mins from Days Bay. Ideal place to relax in beautiful surroundings, with accommodation for 8. Bring your own food and bedding and a torch. Smoking is banned everywhere on the island, including the house. Forest & Bird members get a 25% discount. For more information, visit www. doc.govt.nz and for bookings, contact the DOC Wellington Visitors Centre at wellingtonvc@doc. govt.nz, ph (04) 384-7770 or mail to PO Box 10420, The Terrace, Wellington 6143.

Mangarakau Swamp Field Centre, North West Nelson Borders Kahurangi National Park and Te Tai Tapu Marine Reserve. New, 10 bed lodge with two bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen. Sleeping bags, towels and food required. Contact Jo-Anne Vaughan – Golden Bay Branch Secretary for details: javn@xtra.co.nz or phone (03) 5256031.

Tautuku Forest Cabins, Otago State Highway 92, Southeast Otago. Situated on Forest and Bird’s 550ha Lenz Reserve 32km south of Owaka. A bush setting, and many lovely beaches nearby provide a wonderful base for exploring the Catlins. The cottage, the cabin and an A-frame sleep 10, 4 and 2 respectively. No animals. For information and rates please send a stamped addressed envelope to the caretaker: Diana Noonan, Mirren St, Papatowai, Owaka, RD2. Tel: (03) 415-8024, fax (03) 415-8244. Email: diana-keith@yrless.co.nz


Sale StartS Friday 2nd november 2012

all tents

all

all sleeping bags

mats

Selected merrell footwear all other footwear

PLUS

Great discounts off selected packs, clothing & equipment Black Diamond Axiom 30 Pack

Selected Patagonia Clothing

Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp

Stores nationwide, see full details online at

www.bivouac.co.nz

Discounts are off RRP, stocks are limited and may vary from store to store. Products may vary slightly from those pictured.

Profile for Forest & Bird

Forest & Bird Magazine 346 Nov 2012  

Forest & Bird is New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation protecting and restoring our wildlife and wild places.

Forest & Bird Magazine 346 Nov 2012  

Forest & Bird is New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation protecting and restoring our wildlife and wild places.