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Biggest ever 1080 drop to counter pest plague – In the News

John Kerr posted in on May 10th, 2016.

More than 800,000 hectares of land across the country will be the target of the largest ever pest control operation in New Zealand’s history. The Battle for our Birds 2016 programme will kick off this winter, aiming to knock back a burgeoning pest population boosted by heavy forest seeding, or mast. Rat and stoat numbers […]

NZ island conservation success – In the News

John Kerr posted in on March 23rd, 2016.

New research championing New Zealand’s conservation approach to creating predator free islands has received wide media coverage. The study, published in PNAS, collated data from invasive mammal eradication projects on island around the globe. Examining 181 different islands, the researchers found 236 species – comprising almost 600 separate populations – had benefited from eradication projects. […]

#RoyalCam gets up close with nesting albatross

John Kerr posted in on January 26th, 2016.

A family of Northern royal albatross nesting on the Otago Peninsula have become internet stars thanks to a 24-7 live web cam set up by the Department of Conservation. The Department launched the #royalcam at Taiaroa Head — the world’s only mainland Albatross colony — today. The camera is trained on the nest of a […]

Seabird plastic ingestion bad, getting worse – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on September 2nd, 2015.

By 2050 it will be almost impossible to find a seabird that hasn’t eaten plastic, predicts a new Australian study. The research, published in the journal PNAS, assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world’s seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins. Based on analysis of published studies since the early 1960s, the […]

UPDATED: Budget 2015: Kiwi conservation funding – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 21st, 2015.

More than $11 million of new operating funding for Kiwi conservation efforts, spread over four years,  has been announced in the new budget. The funding boost aims to to arrest the ongoing decline in wild kiwi numbers, which are falling by 2 per cent a year. “Kiwi are known around the world as a symbol […]

Bird-feeding threatens native grey warbler

Amy Guest posted in on May 6th, 2015.

Garden bird-feeding directly influences the number of native and introduced bird species in a local area, according to new research from the University of Auckland. Through monthly observations of 23 test sites over an 18 month period, the study, published in PNAS on Tuesday, found supplementary feeding of grains and bread changed the local bird population structure. […]

NZ Vets call for national cat strategy – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on April 22nd, 2015.

Should cats be registered like dogs? Microchipped? Kept indoors? New Zealand vets are calling for a nationwide strategy to protect the welfare of our growing cat population and native wildlife. The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) this week released a commissioned report examining options for cat management, hoping to spur discussion around developing real solutions […]

Smart spending for ‘flagship’ species – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 25th, 2015.

Smart spending of private conservation funding for individual ‘charismatic’ species can significantly benefit other species, say the authors of a new study. In New Zealand, the Department of Conservation (DOC) runs a National Partnership sponsorship programme, allowing companies to sponsor an individual, iconic ‘flagship’ species such as the kiwi, kakapo or takahe. Some experts have […]

When did the last moa die?

John Kerr posted in on October 24th, 2014.

It is hard to know exactly when the last of New Zealand’s iconic giant birds kicked the proverbial bucket, but new research has come up with the most accurate guess to date.  Moa likely became extinct sometime between 1440-1445 AD, according to a new study from University of Auckland and Landcare Research scientists. The narrow […]

Continue reading “When did the last moa die?

Neonicotinoids linked to decline in population of some birds – experts respond

Peter Griffin posted in on July 10th, 2014.

SMC UK: Research from the Netherlands published today in the journal Nature found that populations of farmland birds fell most sharply in areas where pollution from neonicotinoids was highest. Neonicotinoids are used to kill insects that can damage crops. Among the birds most affected are starlings, tree sparrows and swallows. Our colleagues at the UK […]

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