Purakaunui builder Tom Leckie led the team that constructed a beautiful tuatarium for Orokonui. Old power poles lying in the sanctuary (carried from aviary to site by manpower!) and left over macrocarpa slabs cut in 2008 were used, making it very much a recycled and local production.
The two four-year old tuatara from the Southland Museum seem to be enjoying life in this semi-open enclosure and can often be seen sunbasking at their tunnel entrances.
The lone takahe that has taken up residence in the swamp in the lower valley has visited people either walking to the bottom of the valley or sometimes those walking up to the fence.
It is planned that a female named Monty currently on Mana Island will join Quammen in mid Feb, and it is hoped they will become established in the grassland area inside the fence near the Visitor Centre.
Field staff were very happy going into the Christmas break as the December round of 1400 monitoring tunnels revealed just one with pest footprints and that was a mouse. Unfortunately, since then a couple of problems have raised the spectre of possible breaches so everyone is again on high alert for evidence of mammal pests.
Dunedin artist Jenny Longstaff is exhibiting her art works inspired by nature, 'Worlds Within', in the Orokonui Visitor Centre until February 17. She will be talking about her work at 1pm on Feb 9, 10, 16 and 17.
Information on this and other events can be found on www.orokonui.org.nz or on our Facebook page. The Visitor Centre and café are open daily 9.30 – 4.30pm.
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