Your home and garden can be a very diverse place. Often when we talk about diversity we think of it as something ‘out there’ in the wild, away from urban areas. While urban environments might not be as diverse as many locations around New Zealand, they still contain a surprising amount of native and introduced flora and fauna, especially with arthropods. A couple of recent interviews on Radio NZ look at this idea.
First, Cor Vink takes us into his home to look at what spiders species he can find. Cor is the inverebrate curator at Canterbury Museum and a former PhD student in the Ecology Department at Lincoln. He is acknowledged as the leading spider expert in New Zealand. Cor talks about the spider species he finds as well as what we know about white-tailed spiders (and their fearsome bite).
As well as finding what diversity is present in an urban environment, one can attempt to increase and attract more diversity. Rob Cruickshank, senior lectured here at Ecology, chats about the profusion of bug hotels that have turned up around Lincoln University campus. These hotels are a result of a collaboration between entomology and landscape architects. The hotels are built with materials that encourage invertebrates to colonise and will help with increasing the local populations. The ento students will monitor the hotels over the next year to see what happens.