This dramatic photograph shows a black rat eating a thrush egg. This common rat species (Rattus rattus, otherwise known as a bush, roof or ship rat) is one of three that has long made its home in New Zealand. Continue reading
Nga Manu Nature Reserve
What has become of the “great naturalists”?
I have been reading about the debate and discussion related to forest destruction and preservation in the latter half of the 19th century, and what strikes me most about this debate is the character of the men that took part in it. These were the likes of William Travers (1819 – 1903, lawyer, politician, naturalist and explorer), Thomas Potts (1824 – 1888, politician and naturalist), Charles Heaphy (surveyor, artist, explorer, soldier, politician), Harry Ell (1862–1934, politician, soldier, conservationist) and Leonard Cockayne (1855 -1934, botanist). Continue reading
Welcome to Year of the Dragon: a New Zealand “dragon” story
Not being an avid follower of the Chinese zodiac, I was not aware that 2012 was the Year of the Dragon until yesterday, when I read a post of a favourite blogsite of mine. So, I thought it would be an opportune time to write about a New Zealand “dragon”.
The tuatara represents 225 million years of history on four scaly (and rather wrinkly) legs; it is the only survivor of an ancient group of reptiles that roamed the earth at the same time as dinosaurs. Its relatives became extinct 60 million years ago – and for this reason it is often referred to as a ‘living fossil’. Continue reading
A photographic treasure trove of New Zealand’s natural heritage
Nga Manu Images is an online photo library created by Dave Mudge and Peter McKenzie, founder trustees of Nga Manu Trust, a charitable trust dedicated to the conservation of New Zealand’s flora and fauna, and conservation education. The Trust founded the Nga Manu Nature Reserve, just north of Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast, featured on this website. What makes this photo repository so unique is that, in keeping with the Trust’s objectives, these images are available free of charge for conservation advocacy and education purposes, as well as non-commercial personal use.
Many of the images on this site are part of a more than three decade-long project to develop a pictorial record of the ecology of Nga Manu Nature Reserve, recording the plants and wildlife and the way they interact. Continue reading
First day of spring at Nga Manu Nature Reserve
Today – the first day of spring – dawned crisp and clear, so Carter and I decided to venture out to one of our favourite hang-outs: Nga Manu Nature Reserve, just north of Waikanae township, on the Kapiti Coast [click here to view map]. Continue reading