Environment and Ecology

Snapper spillover: Marine reserves boost local population - News

John Kerr Oct 18, 2017

New Zealand’s first marine reserve doesn’t just protect snapper inside the reserve, it also acts as a snapper super-nursery, contributing ten times more fish than expected to the surrounding areas.  The findings come from a new study examining the genetic relationships between fish inside and outside the boundaries of the Goat Island Reserve – a Marine Protected Area (MPA) … Read More

Vegetarian spiders? What is the world coming to? - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Oct 17, 2017

Like probably everyone reading this, I have always thought that spiders are carnivorous, sucking the precious bodily fluidsA from their prey. I mean, those fangs! And I was wrong, for it seems that some spiders eat some plant material alongside their liquid meals – and some are almost fully vegetarian. A just-published paper (Painting, Nicholson, Bulbert, Norma-Rashid & LI, 2017) … Read More

Fonterra’s blindspot – synthetic milk - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Oct 13, 2017

Last year I found myself sitting on a plane beside a Fonterra executive who was bound for Chicago, where the dairy giant’s US operation is based. I asked him what he considered to be the biggest issues the company faced. He immediately mentioned “trace-ability” and giving Fonterra’s customers confidence in the safety of its products, something that is rightly … Read More

Possum peppering – still totally implausible, seven years on - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Oct 09, 2017

“Kerikeri award entry turns possums into burning issue“, proclaims a headline in the Northern Advocate.  The story is about an entry in the WWF-NZ’s Conservation Awards for 2017; I hope the judges have a good grasp of science and scientific method. From the article: The entry from Kerikeri promotes a new take on an old-world biodynamic method of … Read More

Testing adaptive governance approaches to address New Zealand’s ‘wicked’ environmental problems - Guest Work

Guest Work Oct 06, 2017

By Lisa Sharma-Wallace  Environmental problems today are complicated. Some might even call them ‘wicked’. They involve clashing public perceptions, moving targets, differing stakeholder aspirations, and long-term time-frames, often stretching over generations. They’re also multi-dimensional, including a number of different causes, impacts, parties, and objectives which shift over time. Where do we even begin to address problems like these? Non-linear … Read More

Immigration policy and emissions targets - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Oct 01, 2017

I’ve written a few posts in recent months about the connections between our immigration policy – materially boosting our population growth rate – and New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions (for example here and here).  New Zealand is unusual because, as the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has highlighted: • we have a fairly high rate of trend population growth, … Read More

Ambae volcano’s crater lakes make it a serious threat to Vanuatu - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 30, 2017

By Chris Firth, Macquarie University  If you turned on the television this week, you may have seen coverage of the potentially imminent eruption of Mount Agung volcano in Bali. However, Mt Agung is not the only volcano in the region behaving badly. An evacuation of 10,000 residents in Vanuatu has been announced thanks to increasing levels … Read More

Incredible photos from NIWA scientists out in the field - Field Work

Guest Work Sep 28, 2017

Every year, NIWA runs a competition to choose the best photos taken by its scientists in the field. This year’s crop of photos is as impressive as ever. NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, has scientists working on projects in some stunning locations, so it’s no surprise that some amazing photos pop up along the way. These … Read More

For a teal coalition - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Sep 27, 2017

So. All of Left-Twitter figures that anyone wanting a blue-green coalition are either shills for National who want to destroy the Greens, because coalition would destroy the Greens, or useful idiots for those shills. Count me as one of the idiots then, because some of the objections just aren’t making sense to me – or if they are right, they … Read More

Walking in water: First trip to the Pararaha Stream - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Sep 27, 2017

The track wasn’t marked on the map. It was supposed to be for experienced hikers only.  I’d decided to tackle the Pararaha Stream from the Lone Kauri Road end. It’s an area of the Waitakere Ranges I hadn’t explored before, so I was unsure what to expect.  I guessed I’d need my hands free. So the tripod was carried in a tripod … Read More