Tagged: conservation

New Zealand is reviewing its outdated conservation laws. Here’s why we must find better ways of getting people on board - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Feb 11, 2022

Giles Dodson, Massey University Recently, conservation minister Kiritapu Allan described existing legislation as not fit for purpose, and she’s right. The government’s announcement to overhaul conservation policy is welcome news. There are too many outdated, confusing and inconsistent rules. The system they create is out of step with current values and priorities. The way we use and view … Read More

The critically endangered Māui dolphin is a conservation priority – we shouldn’t let uncertainty stop action to save it - News

Guest Author Oct 21, 2021

Rochelle Constantine, University of Auckland and Wendi Roe, Massey University   The world’s rarest marine dolphin, Māui, is found only along the west coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Based on our surveys over the last two summers, during which we collected small tissue samples for DNA analysis, we estimate there are currently only 54 … Read More

Resolving a genetic mash-up: reconstructing an accurate evolutionary history of kākāriki - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Sep 10, 2021

Prioritising species conservation and over-stretched government funding is built upon an accurate understanding of evolutionary relationships and taxonomy. But what if that evolutionary history is wrong? More importantly, what are the consequences for endangered biodiversity as conservation funding and resources are re-assigned? Numerous examples have come to light in recent years where genetic techniques have shown previously recognised endangered or … Read More

New research reveals animals are changing their body shapes to cope with climate change - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Sep 08, 2021

Sara Ryding, Deakin University and Matthew Symonds, Deakin University   Global warming is a big challenge for warm-blooded animals, which must maintain a constant internal body temperature. As anyone who’s experienced heatstroke can tell you, our bodies become severely stressed when we overheat. Animals are dealing with global warming in various ways. Some move to cooler areas, such as … Read More

Why climate change is forcing conservationists to be more ambitious: by moving threatened species to pastures new - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Jul 19, 2021

Sarah Elizabeth Dalrymple, Liverpool John Moores University As climate change brings record droughts and floods, extended fire seasons continue to make headlines, and the role of humans in this terrible situation is now undisputed, institutional change has been slow and unsteady. In particular, conservationists have been wary of pointing to climate change as the biggest threat … Read More

Stoatally different! How the ‘science of individuals’ is changing how we see pests. - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jun 30, 2021

Jamie McAulay, Department of Conservation It’s just before midday and starting to drizzle as stoat trapper Ana Richards pulls a rotting stoat carcass from a DOC trap and scoops it into a plastic container, dripping. She’s 4 days into a 6 day trapping trip through Fiordland’s wild Murchison Mountains. From this rugged spur, the stinky … Read More

From Aptornis to Zosterops: What can be done about an extinction crisis 50,000 years in the making? - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jun 28, 2021

Conservation comes down to values. Do we only focus on the charismatic animals and the things we can see, or do we conserve the out-of-sight, out-of-mind Lilliputs? If that world collapses, you can be sure ours is next. I’m standing in the basement of our National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa surrounded by the ghostly remains of New Zealand’s bygone bird … Read More

Despite major conservation efforts, populations of New Zealand’s iconic kiwi are more vulnerable than people realise - Hot off the press

Guest Author May 13, 2021

Isabel Castro, Massey University   Kiwi are moved between populations to lower the risk of inbreeding. Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, CC BY-SA Like many endangered species, Aotearoa’s flightless and nocturnal kiwi survive only in small, fragmented and isolated populations. This leads to inbreeding and, eventually, inbreeding depression — reduced survival and fertility of offspring. Mixing kiwi from different populations … Read More

The SMC Video Competition: Ecological Cluedo - Guest Work

Guest Author Oct 30, 2020

Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of the winner, conservation biologist Bridgette Farnworth. Our streams and lakebeds host … Read More