Kākāpō: New Zealand’s Flightless “Owl” Parrot

For two weeks over the New Zealand 2018/2019 summer, Tom and I volunteered with kākāpō on Whenua Hou Island. You can read about the trip and some of the other species we encountered in our blog post, here. Whilst we were on the island, we were extremely lucky to have a couple of kākāpō sightings….

New Zealand’s Largest & Heaviest Native Moth

Click to zoom in There are many names for the largest native moth in New Zealand, and much can be gleaned from a name… The Pūriri Moth (Aenetus virescens) One of the grub’s main host trees is the pūriri tree (Vitex lucens) hence a common name being the pūriri moth. The Ghost Moth Ngāti Kahungunu (the Māori iwi…

A New Zealand Tūī Feeding on Flax Nectar

Click to zoom in New Zealand’s Endemic Tūī Tūī (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) are an endemic New Zealand bird found across almost all of New Zealand. They range from the subtropical Kermadec Islands to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands. Tūī are noticeably absent from the Canterbury region although they were found there historically. With native planting, predator control,…

Red Squirrels on Brownsea Island

For some time now, we’ve been meaning to visit the remnant population of native red squirrels on Brownsea Island here in England. Last week, the opportunity finally arrived when a number of bat surveys came up in Poole, the town’s harbour in which Brownsea Island is located. Getting to Brownsea Island During the day between…

The Toheroa Twist

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…

World’s Heaviest Insect: Hunt for the Giant Wētā

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 .

A Native New Zealand Centipede

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.