Tom and I spend the southern hemisphere’s summer in New Zealand, my home country, and the northern hemisphere’s summer in England, Tom’s home country. We follow the summer because it is also the ecology season when we get most work. The flight can be pretty long when you have to travel half-way around the globe, so…
The takahē’s story is quite amazing. Between 1849 and 1898, only four individuals were ever sighted… By the early 1900’s takahē were considered to be extinct.
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.
The New Zealand giraffe weevil is endemic to our country, and is in fact our longest beetle. It is also the longest beetle in the world of its family.
…only 28 individuals have been identified and recorded up until 12th November 2014. I am not aware of any updates to the database, but know that additional animals have been found since. I can be sure of this as Emma and I with our wildlife-spotting friends, Sara and Ro, came across two presumably new individuals that night!
In January this year, Tom and I ventured down to the bottom of New Zealand for an ecology contract surveying Toheroa. We were there to count and measure these shellfish on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, in a effort to estimate the population and age distribution. They were an interesting species to work with considering their place…
We had been instructed by our knowledgeable friends that if we were to turn over a few stones we would be in luck. No word of a lie, a few stones later we had found our first Hochstetter’s.
To see this individual was remarkable. Not just because it is the only known bird to have ever landed on mainland New Zealand, but because, by chance, we managed to stumble onto its location before its seaward departure at sunrise.
The Muriwai gannet colony in one of three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand. The origin of the colony at Muriwai began on the island of Oaia, just off the coast where gannets first established nesting sites in the early 20th century.
I need not tell you how excited I was to visit some friends residing in one of the only places in the world where I could get to see the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian species, the Archey’s Frog.
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 .
Recently, whilst weeding one of these gardens in residential Whanganui, we came across this beautiful centipede. It was about 4cm in length, and bared its forcipules AKA ‘fangs’ when we disturbed it under a log in the flowerbed. The blue antennae were stunning, so we took the chance for a quick photo-shoot.