Kiwi vision: the blind side

This article was prepared by postgraduate student Mortiz Schmid as part of the ECOL 608 Research Methods in Ecology course. Photo by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Lincoln University. One of the basic principles of vision is that an eye which is supposed to maximize information gained at low light levels needs to…

So long and thanks for all the birds

Hoki, a female kākāpō on Whenua Hou.Photo by Laura Molles One of the giants of New Zealand conservation, Don Merton, passed away this week. Don was instrumental in saving from extinction the South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus), the black robin (Petroica traversi), and the kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus), surmounting often…

Kokako successfully anchored in ‘safe’ forest

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Anna Reuleaux as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). North Island kokako are an endangered New Zealand forest species known for their beautiful song. In the past conservationists have translocated these birds from mainland areas to managed islands…

Are two heads better than one? Kokakos and playback responses

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Jetzabel Gross as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). A Kōkako (Callaeas cinereus). Taken at Mt BruceWildlife Centre, New Zealand.Photo by Doug Mak The perception of reality is different for each animal species and communication can be a…

How to have a lousy time in Durham

Durham, England, famous for its grand old city and cathedral, where bus loads of senior citizens spend their day dragging their Zimmer frames over the cobbled streets to admire ye olde England. More recently and probably more famous in New Zealand, Durham’s castle and cathedral might be better known as…

The World’s Smallest (& Cutest) Penguin

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Warwick Allen as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) are the smallest penguins in the world and are found throughout New Zealand and southern Australia. They are exceptionally cute and cuddly and attract…

BioBlitz Lincoln 2009: 1637 species in 24 hours!

On the 3–4 April 2009 hundreds of people gathered at the Liffey Stream in Lincoln to experience the chaos of exploration and discovery that is a BioBlitz. This 24 hour scientific race against time and educational event was held in conjunction with Lincoln Envirotown, Lincoln University and Landcare Research. The…

Why didn’t the Pukeko cross the road?

We all know the joke about the chicken crossing the road. It’s probably up there with “What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?” as one of the earliest jokes you learn as a kid. There is a serious side to road crossing, however. Roads are a…

Fairy penguins of Oz

The blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) is found around New Zealand’s coastlines and in many parts of south-eastern and western Australia (where they are sometimes known as fairy penguins). Over the years there have been many different suggestions put forward to explain the regional variations seen throughout the range of this…