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

 


Meet the Local Species At Taputeranga

25 August 2008

Meet the Local Species of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve


Click for big version
New species of nudibranch discovered during the 2007 South Coast Marine Bioblitz. Geoff Read, NIWA

*****


With the opening of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve planned for the 28 August and Conservation Week (7-14 September) just around the corner – what better time to meet some of the ‘local’ species of the Wellington South Coast? Here are some of the creatures you may spot while out snorkelling, diving, taking photos, kayaking, building sandcastles, picnicking on the beach or investigating rock pools in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve.

Images courtesy of Rob Marshall

Sea hares

Well camouflaged in their feeding ground of sea lettuce and red and green algae, the black sea hare, Aplysia brunnea, sprays a purple dye to ward off predators.



Click for big version


Sea horses

New Zealand’s only seahorse is the manaia, Hippocampus abdominalis. They are common close to the coast, below the low tide level. Seahorses are not good swimmers - they wait for a meal to swim by! Male seahorses give birth to up to 500 babies.



Click for big version


Giant kelp

This seaweed prefers colder waters and is often called bladder kelp because of the pods that keep it afloat, This brings the blades closer to the surface and the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. Giant kelp is one of the fastest growing seaweeds in the world – growing more than 30 cm a day and can grow to lengths of 30 metres.


Click for big version


Hagfish

This fish has no scales, no bones, no jaws and no eyes! The hagfish is sometimes called the blind eel and tends to live in dark places where eyes are less important for finding food. It has six barbells around the mouth which it uses to sniff out prey.



Click for big version


Anemones

Sometimes it is hard to tell if things in the sea are plants or animals. Many animals live attached to rocks and have evolved tactics to obtain their food from the water passing by. Some, like anemones, have developed special stinging cells to actively acquire their prey.


Click for big version

Sponges

Sponges are animals that obtain their food by sieving the water. There are almost 700 species of sponge in New Zealand and come in a dazzling array of colours, shapes and sizes.


Click for big version

Nudibranchs

Nudibranchs are sea slugs which come in such a vast array of colours they are real treats to spot while diving. A new species was discovered during the 2007 Marine Bioblitz on the south coast. Possibly taking on the colour of the seaweed on which it feeds, it was temporarily named the ‘Christmas nudibranch’ due to its red, white and green colouration.


Sand flounder


Widespread in muddy and sandy sea floors, this fish is well camouflaged by its flat shape and colour (which it can change in seconds). As larvae they swim upright and their eyes are on either side of their head, but as they get older the left eye ends up on the right side of the head and they flatten.


Click for big version

You can find out more about the species that inhabit the south coast and the Taputeranga Marine Reserve during Conservation Week on Sunday 7 September. People involved with the reserve will be giving 15 minute talks at points along the coast between Island Bay and the Owhiro Bay visitor centre between 11.30 am and 3 pm.

For more information about Conservation Week events, the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, or the species that inhabit our coastal waters, check out the DOC website or contact the Wellington Visitor Centre on 04 384 7770 or email wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news