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Kids' national art comp focus on threatened birds


27 June 2006

Kids’ national art competition focuses on threatened birds

K is for…kiwi, kakapo, kokako, kereru and many other threatened native birds, and is the theme Auckland Zoo has chosen for its 2006 nationwide banner competition.

Open to all primary and secondary school students throughout New Zealand, the 2006 Auckland Zoo Banner Competition aims to spark both creativity and a thirst for knowledge about this country's spectacular and unique native bird species.

Students are challenged to choose any native bird species starting with the letter 'K' and in their own unique way, recreate it for potential reproduction on a large banner.

"Sadly, more than half of all native New Zealand birds are classed as threatened species, and it just so happens that many of these birds' names start with the letter 'K'," says Auckland Zoo’s acting education manager, Sue Barker.

"Along with encouraging students' creativity, we really hope teachers will use this competition as a vehicle to focus more in depth on native birds. It's an ideal opportunity to look at some of the issues around why so many of these animals are threatened or endangered, and at a local level, even explore how students and the community can help."

Proudly sponsored by PMP Digital, the Auckland Zoo Banner Competition is now in its second year, and last year attracted well over 600 entries from students of all ages, from Kaitaia to Stewart Island.

"We were extremely impressed by the number of high calibre entries we received last year. There's certainly no shortage of talent out there, and we're very much looking forward to receiving this year's entries," says Sue Barker.

The main winner and four runners-up will not only receive monetary prizes, but also the mana of having their design turned into banners to be displayed throughout the zoo.

ENTRY CRITERIA: Designs need to be portrait and must be no larger than 375mm in height x 125mm wide. Artists can use as many colours as they like. All entries must be received by Friday 22 September. For further details and entry form, visit

Native bird conservation at Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is home to 21 native bird species - including kiwi, kaka, kea, kereru, kokako, whio (blue duck), ruru (morepork), brown teal, tui, pied stilt, spotted shag, pied stilt, kakariki (both yellow -fronted and red-crowned) and little blue penguin.

The Zoo is actively involved in breeding and release programmes for a number of these species, and works in collaboration with the Department of Conservation (DOC), CMaG ARAZPA NZ (New Zealand Captive Management Group), community groups and sponsors. Species include kiwi, kokako, kaka, whio (blue duck), and brown teal. The Zoo has also assisted with DOC's fairy tern recovery programme.

2006 marks the 10th year Auckland Zoo has been involved in incubating, hatching rearing and releasing of kiwi chicks for the Bank of New Zealand Save the Kiwi Trust’s Operation Nest Egg, and the Zoo has to date released 135 chicks.

Research/disease surveillance: The Zoo's veterinary team has pioneered baseline health screening and disease risk assessment for many native birds and reptiles, and their expertise is regularly called upon by government agencies. By mid-2007, the Zoo's vet department will be replaced with the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine - to enable it to expand its growing role in national biosecurity, native species conservation, research, and teaching.

$18m New Zealand Precinct: Auckland Zoo is currently planning its biggest ever project - a 4ha NZ Precinct that will focus on native flora, fauna, and cultural experiences, including integrating the value and significance of the stories that Maori share about these unique species. A total immersion experience of the New Zealand landscape, the Zoo's goal is to make the exhibit a world leader in giving visitors an appreciation and understanding of, the issues faced by native species. It will highlight the role the Zoo plays in helping conserve flora and fauna, and engage visitors about what they can do to help. Subject to funding, this project is due to be completed by spring 2010.


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