Kakapo breeding: Dinner dates essential for the world’s largest parrot

In conservation research you sometimes get the feeling that some species just seem to want to go extinct. No matter what you do for a species there seems to be a further quirk of their behaviour or physiology that just makes conserving them even more difficult. Take the kakapo. This…

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…

It’s time to take a step forward

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Lauren Maciaszek as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Penguin road sign in Westland.Photo by Mollivan Jon Kaka, kotuku, kea, kakariki, kokako, kereru, and kiwi. What do all of these have in common? Apart from providing some interesting…

After several decades, tui are again breeding on Banks Peninsula

Young tui. Flickr photo by Mollivan Jon Last April, we blogged about the release of 30 tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, an endemic New Zealand song bird) onto Banks Peninsula to attempt to re-establish a self-sustaining wild population. Lincoln University lecturer Laura Molles has been leading the population monitoring. Laura and Karen…

New Zealand Seeking: Seabird Enthusiasts

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Jessica Parisi as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Pitt island shagPhoto by Kerry-Jayne Wilson,Lincoln University. There are over 80 breeding species of seabirds in the New Zealand region and one of them, the Pitt island shag (left),…

Will nature sort itself out?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Phil Cochrane as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). “At worst, the current practice of founding new populations of endangered species with such small numbers of founders may be inducing widespread reproductive failure and hastening their extinction.” Briskie…