Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Our secret urban wildlife: Giant centipedes

Brendan Moyle Jun 12, 2018

One thing I like about returning to NZ from places like China, is being around nature again. We live in one of the few parts of the world, and certainly the developed world, where wildlife is sometimes not just at our doorsteps, but also inside as well. Urban Forests Some of this is down to our urban forests. Our urban … Read More

Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2018

Brendan Moyle Mar 02, 2018

It’s been a harder challenge for me this year. I injured myself with a lumbar strain and have had to avoid strenuous exercise for most of the month. While I still ended up with a lot of rides, I was down in both distance and number compared to last year. And certainly none of the big rides I managed in … Read More

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A sad and tragic end

Brendan Moyle Feb 06, 2018

I got home on Monday night and my notifications on my phone exploded. Esmond Martin was dead. Murdered in his Nairobi home. For those of us who knew him, the shock spread through the conservation community. The news was picked up by more news sources in the next 24 hours. By Tuesday morning the NZ Herald was … Read More

Ending Trophy Hunting of Elephants: Is this a Conservation Success?

Brendan Moyle Nov 23, 2017

Following a wave of popular outrage, the US government appears to be backtracking on the decision to allow the import elephant hunting trophies. Nonetheless, despite the support of celebrities and Animal Rights groups like the HSUS, it is not obvious this will help conserve elephants.  Sadly I don’t host popular talk shows or star in movies. I do research … Read More

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Walking in water: First trip to the Pararaha Stream

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

What a lot of water: Waipunga Waterfall

Brendan Moyle Sep 11, 2017

I stood in the drizzle, watching the large waterfall sending clouds of spray and mist upwards. It has been raining a lot in NZ.  Not only have we had several cyclones dump a lot of water on the North Island, winter has had some decent downpours as well.  This is partly good news for waterfall photography. The hard bit is … Read More

Where did we put all that CO2? Climate Change Policy for the Election

Brendan Moyle Sep 01, 2017

Climate change is one of the NZ election issues of this year.  With that in mind, the Science Media Centre asked the parties the following question: How will your party meet the goals of the Paris Agreement? How will agriculture be accounted for in climate change adaptation and mitigation? What are your plans for the Emissions Trading Scheme? Introduction … Read More

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Watery Blues: Freshwater Quality Policy for the Election

Brendan Moyle Aug 28, 2017

Freshwater policy has become one of the NZ election issues of this year.  With that in mind, the Science Media Centre asked the parties the following question: What policy decisions does your party propose to tackle the issue of freshwater quality degradation in our country’s waterways? I’m going to analyse the responses to this question.  Initially though, there are some … Read More

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Rhino conservation dilemmas

Brendan Moyle Aug 09, 2017

Since 2007-8 a number of species have undergone a sharp increase in poaching. These include the African elephants (savannah and forest), the pangolin and African rhino (black and white).  Poaching of rhinos is nothing new. It’s been taking place since the 1960s and rhinos have all but disappeared except for their strong-holds in Southern Africa. South Africa and Namibia bucked … Read More