Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

By Sue Hensley

December is the time of year when we look back on just what's been
achieved. For the sanctuary this was done at a restoration meeting
held in November where academics, DOC staff, Orokonui staff and
trustees got together to discuss all aspects of past and future
species translocations.

Snipe (a small bird with an eerie nocturnal call followed by the sound
of vibrating tail feathers) was one such proposal. An Otago Uni
zoology student did the preliminary investigation and found that
Orokonui had only small areas of habitat similar to where it is found
today and not enough invertebrate life at the depth of normal feeding
for snipe. An interesting finding was that snipe have been pushed
into limited habitats because of predation and so not enough is really
known about the range of habitats they can survive in. Their
translocation to Whenua Hou/ Codfish Island may help to provide some
answers.

Meanwhile at Orokonui this is the season for orchids flowering and the
appearance of young birds. Patience and careful looking and listening
are often rewarded by the sight of a parent feeding its chicks.

It is crazy how quickly the end of the year comes around and the New
Year approaches. If you are still Christmas shopping go online (or
come up to the Visitor's Centre) and check out the gift vouchers for
tours, memberships and shop items. There is a great selection of jade/
pounamu and other works from local artists, too.

A very big thank you to all the wonderful locals who have helped out
in numerous ways during 2011 and best wishes for a happy Christmas and
New Year to everyone.

News and events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page.
The Visitor Centre is open daily (closed December 24, 25) 9.30 – 4.30
(cafe 10 – 4).

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