Despite being known as one of the New Zealand wrens, of which it is one of only two surviving species, the Rifleman actually belongs to the ancient Acanthisittidae family. They are often called “wrens” due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens of the family Troglodytidae.
We were lucky enough to meet the Mahoenui giant wētā on this expedition. The story behind the endangered Mahoenui giant wētā is an interesting one. The Mahoenui giant wētā was long considered extinct on the mainland, until it was rediscovered in 1962 .
Working with greenhood orchids from the genus Pterostylis was an interesting experience for me. Most of my paid and voluntary encounters with wildlife have, historically, been with those of the animal kingdom. So, it was about time that I helped survey some of our greener kin.