Thursday, 19 August 2010

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

Interested in the geology of the Blueskin area? Wondered about the
rocks around you? Then come and listen to and walk with local rock man
Dr Chuck Landis at Orokonui on September 8.
Seed collection and cultivating natives will be covered by the
wonderfully knowledgeable Tom Myers (Botanic Gardens) and Valerie Fay
(planting coordinator) on Sept 23 and the popular Philip Dunn
(Ribbonwood Nurseries) will talk about garden design for birds. All
details on our website.
We welcome a new staff member this month – Tania Turei. Many of you
will know Tania from her work in the community and at the library. She
brings a wide range of skills to the reception/ admin position and her
IT skills will be especially valuable.
The birds tell us that spring is just around the corner and two robin
pairs in the pine block have been confirmed. They will form an
important core group and be helpful in retaining birds from future
translocations.
The kaka are being challenged to search for their food in strange
places – high on the aviary door, low on the floor, even inside possum
cages – all as part of an effort to capture and band the kaka, replace
their transmitter batteries and set them up with GPS transmitters. The
Otago University physics department has just completed the very first
batch of these new monitoring devices and we hope they will allow us
some interesting insights into kaka behaviour. They promise much
easier access to their whereabouts and will (possibly) confirm or
exclude those reported sightings outside of Orokonui from Dunedin to
Karitane.
The visitor centre and café are open every day 9.30-4.30. A range of
guided and self guided walks is available. Orokonui Facebook page and
www.orokonui.org.nz will keep you up to date with events.

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