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Thursday October 4, 2018


Teen conservationist backing the ‘underbird’ of NZ natives By Jamie Adams

George Hobson with a framed photo he took of a banded dotterel on the Petone foreshore last year. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Rotary Club of Wellington South


A Kingston teenager is campaigning for one of New Zealand’s lesser-known native species to be crowned Bird of the Year for 2018. George Hobson is the campaign manager for the “charismatic and adorable” banded dotterel, also known as the pohowera, which is declining in numbers due to habitat loss. He could not give an exact number of the tiny wading bird, classified as a plover, but estimates “between 20,000 and 50,000” exist, meaning they are deemed vulnerable. “They are steadily declining because there hasn’t really been any conservation effort. “They don’t get anywhere near the amount of attention of other birds that people know and love. “They are potentially not so charismatic and conservation is really focused towards more popular birds – kakapo, kokako, the kiwi – whereas these birds are known as underbirds.” Banded dotterels are found all over the country but are especially prevalent among the central South Island’s braided rivers where they normally breed. “They’re dotted around the coasts of both islands as well. They migrate out of those breeding sites. Some got to Australia, others migrate to Miranda Shorebird Centre (on the Hauraki coast) and to Auckalnd and Northland.” George says winning Bird of the Year is crucial in raising awareness for the bird, whose breeding habitat is affected by human activity, especially four-wheel-drive vehicles.

“It’s about stopping people and educating them by saying ‘hey this probablyisn’t the best place to take your four-wheel-drive’. “Hopefully with that there will be more incentive for money to go into conservation work to be done on them.” George, 15, is home-schooled and already has an extensive involvement in conservation with the aim to one day work in the environmental field. He is the communications coordinator for Young Birders NZ, he works with the education team at Zealandia eco-sanctuary, and is on the Forest & Bird Youth Wellington council, as well as its national committee. The Bird of the Year “election” was first held by Forest & Bird in 2005, when it was won by the tui. Since then, various species have taken the title, including the kakapo, pukeko and fantail. Our national icon, the kiwi, won it in 2009.  Voting is open until October 15. To register your vote by email go to birdoftheyear.

SUMMER MEMBERSHIP Join Miramar Golf Club and you will find a vibrant golfing atmosphere exists among members and a warm welcome is extended to visitors. Summer membership $695 to 1st April 2019 (The end of daylight savings)

The Rotary Club of Wellington South is seeking nominations from Residents and / or Employers in the Southern and Eastern Suburbs of Wellington for persons who may be eligible for a

PRIDE OF WORKMANSHIP AWARD These awards are intended to recognise those individuals who perform their role in life, or their work (whether paid or voluntary; full time or part time) conscientiously, with pride in what they do, and attention to detail, and who may otherwise go unrecognised.

Miramar Golf Club benefits: • Join competitive or social competitions • Enjoy our clubhouse cafe and bar facilities. • Invite your guests for lunch or a drink • Access to excellent golf professional for all golf equipment and lessons. • Buy a lesson in a covered all weather purpose built coaching bay • Free car parking at the club car park for guests and players. Please ring the clubrooms or visit the website for application form Plenty of space for social golfers

Nominations for these awards close on Friday 19 October. For more information and nomination forms please contact:

MIRAMAR LINKS Francis Fanning: Ph 04 3810900. Email or Pakize Sari: Ph 04 3802002. Email


1 Stewart Duff Drive, Miramar Ph: 801 7649

Email: W:

Cook Strait News 04-10-18  

Cook Strait News 04-10-18

Cook Strait News 04-10-18  

Cook Strait News 04-10-18