Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


How good are the Poor Knights? - By Ben Barr

Media Release – (Opinion Editorial/Column) 7 January 2014

How good are the Poor Knights?

By Ben Barr – NorthTec Conservation and Environmental Management Tutor


Click for big version.

The Poor Knights

Ridiculously good! I recently took NorthTec’s first year Conservation and Environmental Management students on a field trip with Dive! Tutukaka and it was nothing short of spectacular.

On the way across we saw a pod of bottlenose dolphins heading north, no doubt on an important mission for food or fancy. Half way to the Knights we discovered a lone seal sunbathing in the gin blue water, and a giant sunfish on a jellyfish hunt. The seal casually glanced at us with that innocent yet slightly mischievous look that only a seal can give, and then got back to his suntan.

When we reached the marine reserve it was all on! A massive rolling front of trevally was surface feeding on krill, who in turn were feeding on plankton that are so abundant at this time of the year. But it didn’t end there… a tsunami of Buller’s shearwaters swept across the shoal feeding on the krill the trevally were thoughtfully rounding up, and lazy snapper mooched below waiting for a free lunch (there is such a thing at the Poor Knights). The Buller’s shearwater only nest on the Poor Knight’s islands as there are no introduced pests there. A couple of million of these amazing birds will return to the islands during the night to feed their chicks, transferring nutrients from the sea to the land and thereby driving a completely different ecosystem – the Island’s forest.


Click for big version.

Tutor Ben Barr (third from left) with students at the Poor Knights.jpg

Under a canopy of pohutukawa, geckos and skinks feed directly on the fish the adult seabirds spill. These lizards will eat giant bugs and beetles but will need to watch out for huge tuatara, or even giant centipedes that have a taste for reptilian blood! The Poor Knight’s giant weta come out at night to feed on coastal vegetation that proliferates due to the nutrient-rich soils the seabirds help engineer. I’m not sure whether the icing on the Poor Knights cake are the giant flax snails or the choir of bellbirds and kakariki that sing of the joys of living on their own island. Either way, the Poor Knights are a jewel that needs to be celebrated… and an amazing place to go and learn about conservation and the environment.

NorthTec is the Tai Tokerau (Northland) region's largest provider of tertiary education, with campuses and learning centres in Whangarei, Kerikeri, Rāwene, Kaikohe and Kaitaia.  NorthTec also has over 60 community-based delivery points from Coatesville in rural Rodney to Ngataki in the Far North.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news