I wonder how much of the story of conservation photos tell. So much is so rarely seen.
Here in Kaikoura it seems that many aspects are under threat, as many different pressures add up. Hutton’s Shearwaters, as one example, have been reduced from about 10 colonies in the 60s to only two remaining wild colonies. Both of those sustained major impact from the November 14th earthquake. 20-30 % of the land containing their burrows is now in various valley floors as rubble awaiting transport by a sufficient volume of rain. Only one day of survey by 2 people has been considered sufficiently safe. 100 burrows that were marked as active last year, and seemed from aerial photos to be in an areas largely unaffected by the quake, were inspected, 36 had collapsed. and only 1 chick was observed in residence. Losing a year’s chicks might not be a big deal, but losing 20-40% of adults, and a lessening of the natural defenses that have protected those colonies from predators, could be a very big deal.
We also have rare plants, skinks, gekos, weta, etc…..
Local DOC have been great, and the systems around health and safety do not make it easy for experienced competent individuals to make judgments about the levels of risk that they feel competent to assess and to take on.
The lack of money for pest control is almost as bad as the lack for predator control.
Vast areas of the high country were deliberately seeded with pine and elder for “stabilisation” purposes. An experiment gone horribly wrong.
So yeah, great to have DOC, and they need a lot more resources to get people on the ground taking action. And learning the competencies necessary has very little to do with passing exams, and almost everything to do with practical experience, and a dogged determination to get out there and make a difference.