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Canon Awards Environmental Grant

Media Release
21st November 2008


Canon Awards Environmental Grant To Benefit Native Wildlife

The New Zealand falcon, native frogs and humpback whales are all set to benefit thanks to Canon New Zealand’s Environmental Grants.

The University of Canterbury, Hamilton Zoo and the Department of Conservation will each receive $5,000 worth of specialised Canon equipment to enable them to further their work into wildlife health, research, diagnostic work and education.

Sara Kross, a University of Canterbury PhD student whose grant will be used in the Falcons for Grapes programme was thrilled to be awarded one of the grants. “The Canon equipment will enable us to carry out more in depth study and provides us with a greater degree of data.” says Sara.

The Falcons for Grapes programme relocates falcons (Karearea) from the wild to the Wairau Valley as a means of conserving the threatened species. It also aims to decrease wine grape losses to invasive pest bird species as the falcon is an effective native predator.

Funds from the Environmental Grant will be used for examining the effectiveness of the Falcons for Grapes scheme and whether it should be expanded to other areas.

Another recipient is Kara Goddard of Hamilton Zoo who works to conserve wildlife in its natural environment through animal husbandry, educational programmes and supporting appropriate scientific study whilst minimising the impact on the local environment.

Zoo staff have been studying the Hochstetter’s frog since 2006 to develop husbandry techniques to help conserve the amphibians in New Zealand. The ultimate aim is to develop techniques that will enable them to be bred in captivity with the hope of returning the offspring to the wild.

The final recipient of this year’s Environmental Grants is the Department of Conservation for a project which aims to determine the level of recovery of humpback whales in New Zealand from commercial whaling after 45 years of protection.

Commercial whaling ceased in New Zealand in 1964 and today the country is both a migratory pathway and a breeding ground for whales.

DOC’s study will be able to provide critical information for sustainable use and development of the marine ecosystem by documenting the migratory and small scale movement patterns of whales in the Cook Strait and assessing abundance in comparison to historic records.

The equipment selected by grant recipients includes: a HV30 High Definition Video Camera which Kara will use to record the frogs nocturnal habits. Nadine from DOC has combined the EOS 40D SLR camera with the EF 100-400mm Lens which will allow researchers to monitor animals without causing any interference. A pair of 15 x 50IS high powered binoculars with image stabilising technology was selected by Sara in order to monitor the falcons in flight.

The three projects were chosen from close to 40 other submissions put forward by individuals and organisations carrying out environmental work.

Craig Manson, managing director, Canon New Zealand said this is the first year grants have been awarded to more than one organisation and Canon was very impressed with the calibre of applications.

“We know especially in the current economic climate funds for environmental work can often be stretched. Canon recognises the importance of having quality equipment to record, document and process studies and research”. says Craig.

“A fundamental value Canon strives towards is environmental conservation and we hope the Canon Environmental Grant will help others to make a difference.”

In the spirit of kyosei – Canon’s corporate philosophy and a Japanese term that means living and working together for the common good - Canon stresses environmental protection both in its daily operations and through support activities.

Ends.

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