A Fan Tale

(Photo of fantail by Jon Sullivan, CC-BY_NC, www.flickr.com/photos/mollivan_jon/26851270492/) Jerusha Brown is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science majoring in Conservation and Ecology at Lincoln University. She spent the summer doing a research scholarship and tells us about one of her results. Fantails are one of the most common,…

The Notorious Nestor notabilis: Conservation of the Clever Kea

Hiking the Edwards-Hawdon Route in Arthur’s Pass National Park a few weeks ago, I had my first encounter with the majestic, yet devious, kea (Nestor notabilis). While stopping to catch my breath, a curious kea hopped over to greet me. I was thrilled to see this beautiful bird for the first…

How many birds are killed on NZ roads each year?

At last month’s EcoTas13 conference, the joint annual conferences of the New Zealand and Australian Ecological Societies, I presented some preliminary calculations of the number of birds killed on New Zealand roads. I’ve been counting road kill on my bike to work from Christchurch to Lincoln since 2003 so I…

Death by chocolate – Why human food poses a danger to clever kea

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Helene Rohl as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Helene revisits a Lincoln University research area that look at the risks that waste has for kea published in 1998.Kea are the only true mountain parrots in the world and are…

Southern Accent, Penguin descent

There is a great song by Tom Petty which I always find moving. ‘Southern Accent’ conveys the longing to be back home with kith and kin when you are living away – summed up by ‘there’s a southern accent, where I come from’. Having grown up on a sheep farm…

Don’t feel off-colour! Stopping kea eating poison baits

One of the difficulties of living with teenage boys (of which I have three) is that it is impossible to keep food for any length of time. Well that’s not true exactly; food that grew on a tree or in the ground can last a very long time. Other foods…

Do artificial nests work for Whooping Cranes? Ask the ‘eggsellent’ spy!

A decade or so ago I taught into a course on Wildlife Management here at Lincoln. One of the things that I would do with the class was to ask them a few questions. One of the questions was “Which is the lesser of two evils: rushing in to save…

Blue hotels: nestsite location in Little Penguins

Little Penguins (or Blue Penguins, Korora, Eudyptula minor or even, in Australia, Fairy Penguins) are the most common penguin to be found in New Zealand. They have numerous colonies ranging from a few nest to several thousands and they are found all around our shorelines.Despite being the most numerous penguin…

A fine pine: Kakapo not picky about their diet

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Ana Baral as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course. This marks the last of this year’s cohort. Thanks to the class! Kakapo are found only in New Zealand where these magnificent green parrots struggle for their survival. Only a…

A Burning Issue for Magpies

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Laura Hollerbach as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course. The Azure-Winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) occurs over wide parts of Asia and Iberia. The species, unhesitatingly described by Haojin Tan (Jin) as “pretty loud and noisy” has been studied throughout…