Will they tern up?

Courtney Hamblin is doing a Master of Science at Lincoln University. Here she tells us about her current research. We have all experienced that moment of anxiety and anticipation: you have organised an event or party and you nervously await the arrival of your first guests. You know people have…

Inky feet, rolling rocks and seedy lizards at Mt Grand

 In late autumn, our postgrads in ECOL 609 Nature Conservation went on field trip to Central Otago where they conducted several days of research on lizards. Wilhelm and Andreas (both Master of International Nature Conservation students) tell us what they did. Wilhelm Osterman : Do alpine geckos play a role in…

Drink your vegetables? Consider carefully!

Have you ever heard the term ‘juicing’? When someone is juicing, their diet is mainly fruit and vegetable juice for 3-10 days. Do you know someone who is juicing? Or have you ever considered juicing? Well, the answers from me are all yes! But, I did not do it because I…

Bonzer! Feratox poison controls Dama Wallaby populations in New Zealand

Since their introduction to New Zealand in 1870, Dama Wallabies (Macropus eugenii, endemic to Australia) have been responsible for the degradation of large tracts of native habitat. Concerns about the destruction of native ecosystems have become so severe that scientists working with the New Zealand Government have been working on…

Small pieces of marine species in seal faeces

It’s always intriguing discovering what people like to eat. Eating is a reasonably private process. Sure we can go out for meals with friends or grab a bite with colleagues but we are choosing from a restricted menu (and the food on offer is different to what you would have…

Who is ready to move? Indicators of when Pycroft petrels are ready for translocation.

Gadfly petrels (Pterodroma species) are amazingly adapted to life at sea, having evolved almost alien-like traits. Spirally twisted upper intestines aid in the digestion of marine organisms. Glands located above the eyes remove excess salt from the bloodstream which is drained from tubular nostrils. The petrel’s keen sense of smell isn’t…

Gollum and the carpet beetles: One man’s meat is another man’s poison

When it comes to pest species we spend a lot of time thinking about how they forage. Usually pest species cause most of their problems through what they eat. This generates a lot of research on either finding out what makes them stop eating something (to protect what they are eating)…

Concerning hobbits and NZ grass grub

   I’ve suggested before that The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien is a great way to prepare a young person for a career in biogeography. I would go further and suggest that The Lord of the Rings is a great way to prepare someone for ecology and evolution…

Local heroes: All Blacks and weevils

The New Zealand All Blacks have just won the Rugby World Cup, beating arch rivals Australia at Twickenham in London. It’s a tremendous achievement for our little country, the first time a team has won the world cup three times and the first time a country has successfully defended the…

Burrow flaps a species saver

Chatham petrels are an endangered seabird species, endemic to New Zealand’s Chatham Islands. In 1990 Chatham petrels were classed as critically endangered, restricted to a single breeding population of 200-400 birds on Rangatira Island, and declining rapidly thanks to unsustainably low breeding success. Over 20 years of conservation effort has…