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Kiwi Watch on Bush Telly 2010

( Canterbury’s great spotted kiwi/roroa will feature on Bush Telly 2010, when DOC ranger Malcolm Wylie is interviewed on day two of the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch.

Malcolm is working with schools and community groups to help save Canterbury’s only kiwi species.

“Great-spotted kiwi can be found from sea-level to the alpine tops and in very high-rainfall areas; from river flats to alpine scrub; but we know less about them than other kiwi as they are pretty good at keeping to themselves,” said Malcolm Wylie.

“And yet they have captured the hearts of local students and communities, who are doing their bit to save them and I feel privileged to be able to support their endeavours.”

“There is more to conservation than saving one individual species. Community is a big part of conservation – and communities generally value most what’s in their own backyard.

“DOC is playing a support role in projects driven by local community groups such as the Arthur’s Pass village and students of Hurunui College,” said Malcolm.

A group of twenty students who have called themselves ‘Kiwi Watch’ have adopted an area near Lewis Pass. They were successful in getting funding from the BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust and the Air New Zealand Environmental Trust to purchase 190 stoat traps that they have set up in the Nina Valley.

“Most of the traps need checking every few weeks ongoing, so it is quite an intensive project and requires a lot of motivation and support from parents,” said Malcolm.

“This work is valuable as it could well allow us to release roroa back into a part of their former range in the near future which would be a first for Canterbury.”

Their work should also benefit other endangered species like whio, kākā and kea.

Malcolm was motivated to tell this story to Bush Telly in the hopes that more groups could follow the lead that these students have taken.

“It’s a great example of how easy it is sometimes to get involved in conservation in your own backyard and make a project happen that might otherwise not.”

Media Release 5 March 2010 from Department of Conservation.



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