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

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news