Kiwibank Predator Free Communities programme will be open for applications on the 2nd July

The next round of funding for the Kiwibank Predator Free Communities programme is opening for applications soon. The Predator Free New Zealand Trust and Kiwibank are looking for enthusiastic communities that want to make their backyards predator free and help native species thrive.

To be eligible to apply for funding a community should be a cluster of urban or rural households wanting to target rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels and possums. The programme doesn’t cover lifestyle blocks, farms, council or government land and excludes the use of toxins.

Kiwibank funding will provide successful applicants with a subsidy on humane traps and pre-made tunnels and will help fund and provide support materials for the community programme.

The funding round opens Monday 2nd July 2018 and closes Sunday 15 July 2018.

For more information go to

Fiordland Marine Guardians call for nominations

Call for nominations for Fiordland Marine Guardians

The Minister for the Environment is seeking nominations for Members of the Fiordland Marine Guardians (the Guardians).

The Guardians are an advisory group established by the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act 2005. They are responsible for providing advice to Ministers, government departments and Environment Southland on the management of the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area.

The membership of the Guardians must reflect a balanced mix of knowledge and experience in relation to the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area. At least five members must reside in the Otago or Southland regions.

Three positions are currently available to be filled.

Members of the Fiordland Marine Guardians should have the following skills:

· knowledge, experience and expertise in one or more aspects relevant to managing the Fiordland Marine Area

· the ability to work with other members of the Guardians and with agency officials to establish common goals and work cooperatively to achieve them

· the ability to network and consult effectively with stakeholders and community groups

· an understanding of effective governance and strategy

· an understanding of, or interest in, environmental law relevant to managing the Fiordland Marine Area

· personal integrity

· the interest, enthusiasm and time needed to contribute effectively to the work of the Fiordland Marine Guardians.

Read the position description.

How to apply

Submit the following application documents to the Ministry for the Environment by the closing date:

· completed nomination form

· a current CV

· a cover letter outlining how you/the nominee meet the position requirements.

Download a nomination form

Fiordland Marine Guardians Nomination Form.pdf [PDF, 287 KB]

Fiordland Marine Guardians Nomination Form.docx [MS Word, 100 KB]

By post: Fiordland Marine Guardians Nominations

Ministry for the Environment

PO Box 10362

Wellington 6143

By email: Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

For further information or enquiries contact:

Allison Bockstruck

Enable JavaScript to view protected content..

Phone: 022 068 4921

Nominations close 5pm, Friday 15 June 2018

Southland Tramping Club gives F&B's Te Rere a Helping Hand

On Saturday, 12th May, a keen group of Southland Tramping Club members, along with a few Forest & Birders, took on the task of constructing two bridges over the Falls Creek at Te Rere. This was no mean feat, but involved carrying four 6m poles in along a narrow track through regeneration of native shrubs and flax, uphill and down dale, for over 600m. As the last pole was being taken in by early afternoon, it seemed impossible the job could be completed that day. However due to the excellent preplanning by Barry Smith, sure enough as the sun set, the job was done. These two bridges will make the job of predator control maintenance and yellow eyed penguin montioring at Te Rere a much easier task. So a big thank you to Barry, Graeme and their gang for the excellent job done. Also to the Southland Tramping Club who covered the cost of materials for this project.

Motupohue - help us with a vision for the future

Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust is very proud of what we have achieved in the last 10 years. Thanks to the support of the local community, dedicated volunteers, our partners DoC and Iwi and our many sponsors we have achieved:

· Bringing back the bird song to Motupohue and our backyards! 

· Helping create one of the most talked about Reserves in Southland 

· Translocating new native species – the Kakaruai South Island Robin 

· Restoring native habitats

We want to know what you would like to see happening on th…e Bluff peninsula concerning the environment in the next 100 years?

Please do our ONE QUESTION ONLY Survey;

A passion for penguins!

On Sunday 18th February a group of 7 members of Southland Forest and Bird were privileged to join Mel Young and 3 Otago University colleagues at Long Point in the Catlins.

Mel is doing her PHD on yellow-eyed penguins (YEP’s) and is fitting transmitters to juveniles so she can see where the they disperse to when they go to sea for the first time. Other parts of the study involved foraging behaviour and diet studies. With declines in YEP’s over recent years what is happening at sea remains the biggest unanswered question for penguin survival.

Mel made the whole procedure look easy as she methodically attached a transmitter to the back of the first bird. Mel also seemed instinctively to know when to place the poo bottle in position before getting covered in quite foul smelling penguin goo! Analysis of the poo would give a good indication of what the adults were feeding the chicks this year. But first, a few stats were collected – weight, size, condition and to do that the penguin was put into a bag to restrict movement.

Ron Munro was put in charge of the pointy end to calm the bird and prevent it from doing any damage with its sharp beak. He gained a few bloody mementos (but nothing compared to the scratches and bruises on Mel’s arms!). With various members of us helping – holding the bird, writing notes, cutting tape, mixing glue, it was amazing to know that Mel had done all this on her own the previous day!

As the transmitters cost a few thousand dollars each, Mel is meticulous in attaching it to the feathers on the penguins back with a combination of very adhesive tape, cable ties, pva glue – it sounds messy, but experience has given Mel the confidence to do a very thorough and tidy job and the finished article sits very neatly on its back. The transmitter is expected to fall off in a few months. After more than half an hour the job is done and the penguin is released to wander back to its nest in the forest undergrowth and await an adult returning from the sea with food.

A second healthy heavy chick was located and fittingly it was nesting in the original John Darby hide at Hina Hina Cove. The same procedure was followed and eventually the team walked up the steep hill back to the 4WD’s and back through the locked access gate and home.

The Southland group consisted of Chris and Brian Rance, Ron and Gay Munro, Peggy Snoep, Lori Johnston and Christine McKenzie and all were inspired by Mel’s passion and skill.

Chris Rance