Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Scientists scrutinise Auckland’s inhabitants

10 March 2005

Scientists scrutinise central Auckland’s inhabitants

Auckland’s urban wildlife is under investigation this weekend, as about 50 of the country’s top biologists hold a round-the-clock search for life.

“BioBlitz – finding nature in the city” is a 24-hour quest from 3pm Saturday March 12 to 3pm Sunday March 13, to find as many different life forms as possible (besides humans!). The biologists will scour the Auckland Domain, recording everything they find, dead or alive; from plants to fungi to fish to animals, diurnal and nocturnal. They will keep a running tally.

A marquee on the carpark in front of Auckland Museum will serve as a temporary laboratory, with computers, microscopes and displays of all forms of life. It will be open to the public day and night.

The event is organised by Landcare Research, with input from the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council, Auckland Museum, the Department of Conservation and the University of Auckland. Landcare Research mycologist (fungal scientist) Dr Peter Buchanan is one of the main organisers.

Torrential rain failed to dampen the success of last year’s inaugural BioBlitz across the city at St Heliers, and Dr Buchanan says this year’s event at the Domain will be even bigger and better.

“Last year we found more than 900 species in Dingle Dell Reserve, including a previously undiscovered native wasp. This year we expect to find significantly more species, as we are covering a much bigger area, and we have a bigger team.

“Aucklanders feel they know the Domain very well, but they will probably be surprised at the diversity of creatures living there.”

Dr Buchanan says he hopes people feel free to drop by the marquee at any time. “There are plenty of us mad enough to be there all day and all night!

“BioBlitz is a unique opportunity for researchers to share their science with others, and for students and the public to experience the vast array of species sharing our environment.”

This year, scientists have a cherry picker loaned by the Auckland City Council, so they can list the birds, insects, fungi and epiphytic plants that live in the treetops.

“Tracker tunnels” – cardboard cylinders containing a strip of sticky, non-toxic ink – will be placed both in trees and on the ground. Researchers will be able to tell the presence of insects and other animals from their inky footprints.

Bacterial colonies attracted appalled but fascinated crowds at the marquee last year, and this year they will be back – with scientists growing cultures of bacteria from a pond and from the air, on agar jelly.

Other organisations exhibiting material at BioBlitz include the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Auckland Botanical Society, the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Forest & Bird, the Kiwi Conservation Club, the National Parks and Conservation Foundation, and the conservation products company Connovation.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news