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

 


Tuatara take off with Air New Zealand and DOC

Joint media release
16 October 2012


Tuatara take off with Air New Zealand and DOC


Carianne Boyd Checks The tuatarata Through To Maunagatautari

Air New Zealand and the Department of Conservation (DOC) today achieved the largest and most complex tuatara relocation ever undertaken. The 260 tuatara travelled on commercial flights from Wellington to Gisborne, Hamilton and Dunedin.

The tuatara travelled by helicopter from Takapourewa (Stephens Island) in the Marlborough Sounds to Wellington Airport where they were handed over to the care of Air New Zealand cabin crew and the accompanying DOC staff.

The tuatara travel inside the cabin alongside passengers, however, each is housed in its own travelling tube complete with Air New Zealand baggage tag. In recognition of the airline’s sponsorship relationship with DOC, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe was on hand to receive the precious passengers and help get them aboard the aircraft.

Air New Zealand and DOC work together on around 200 species translocations around New Zealand each year and Mr Fyfe says assisting relocation efforts is a key part of the airline’s environmental strategy.

“Tuatara are not jetsetters by nature, in fact they don’t generally travel more than about 20 metres from their burrows over the entire course of their lives. We’re very happy to be able to give them the assistance they need return to healthy mainland populations,” he says.

Takapourewa, where the reptiles have come from, is predator free and home to 30,000 tuatara, or half of the country’s population. Today’s transfer operation has successfully reintroduced tuatara into parts of the country where their ancestors lived prior to predation and habitat loss.

The tuatara were accompanied by Ngäti Koata iwi as the kaitiaki (guardians) of the taonga (treasure) and delivered to Kati Huirapa in Dunedin for Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and in Gisborne to Ngati Porou for Whangaokeno Island. Other groups of tuatara went to Cape Sanctuary in Hawke’s Bay, Young Nicks Head Sanctuary near Gisborne and Maungatautari in Central Waikato.

The 60 tuatara relocated to Orokonui mark the first return of the species to the wild in the South Island. This is by far the furthest south that tuatara have been free to roam in 100 years.

Orokonui CEO Chris Ballie says, “Orokonui is the perfect location to restart the South Island’s wild tuatara population. The mixture of juveniles and adults will be a good kick-start to re-establishing a viable tuatara population with the necessary genetic variation.”

• Tuatara were once widespread in New Zealand but were extinct on the mainland by the late 1700s due to predation by introduced mammals, human harvest and habitat changes.
• Tuatara survive naturally only on about 30 offshore islands – the equivalent of just 0.5% of their former range.
• New Zealand’s total tuatara population is estimated at greater than 60,000.
• In April 2012 Air New Zealand and DOC announced a three-year commercial partnership worth $1 million annually to support conservation programmes around the National Parks Great Walks network and species translocations.
• Air New Zealand assists DOC with approximately 200 translocations every year.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news