Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Fluffy Ducks for New Year

We’re taking the ‘kids’ to the pool tomorrow – five delightful 18-day-old whio/blue duck ducklings will have their first swimming lesson at Orana Wildlife Park in the morning. Whio are hunting ducks, so the youngsters must learn to find food and fend for themselves, as they will be released to the wild once mature.

Orana’s Native Fauna Manager, Catherine Roughton, says “tomorrow’s pool session is a really important milestone for the ducklings. It’s essential they spend time honing their hunting skills before being ready for release to the wild. The ducklings will be released on the West Coast when they are around six months of age.”

“Whio are amazing birds – they are an ancient species and one of the few waterfowl that live year round on fast flowing rivers. They are like white water rafters so these ducklings need to quickly master their paddles!” says Catherine.

Whio are one of New Zealand’s most threatened waterfowl species mainly owing to predation. They play an important role in the ecosystem being an indicator of healthy rivers and streams.

“We are proud to contribute to the recovery programme for South Island whio. Our parent pair arrived at Orana in 2017 and since that time have produced over 40 ducklings, twelve this breeding season alone, including the latest five. Visitors can see our beautiful whio parents in the walk-through aviary, though the ducklings are off display,” adds Catherine.

Tomorrow’s lesson for the ducklings nicely rounds off 2019 and the past decade for Orana in terms of native conservation efforts. The last ten years has seen Orana significantly increase its conservation output, particularly relating to local efforts. As well as whio, Orana continues to contribute to breed for release programmes for pāteke and kiwi. In 2017 Orana joined the breed for release programme for orange-fronted kākāriki a species only found in Canterbury and numbering less than 300 in the wild. This year, orange-fronted kākāriki chicks bred at Orana were released to the wild for the first time, six more chicks have hatched in the past two months and our four breeding pairs have produced more eggs in the past few days! Significantly, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, 100 endangered kōwaro/Canterbury mudfish were transferred into our waterways in November as a backup population for these threatened native fish – the rarest mudfish in New Zealand. Further transfers will occur next year with the aim of establishing a population of 300 kōwaro at Orana.

“We have ambitious plans in place for 2020 and beyond to further contribute to native fauna conservation. Over the next year, the team will advance the design of a major new Native Species Centre,” adds Catherine.

Naturally, staff are delighted with achievements across the Park during 2019. A range of important animal transfers were successfully completed this year as part of managed breeding programmes. In June, we welcomed four young Tasmanian devils and in October a new waterbuck breeding bull arrived. November saw the arrival of a new spider monkey breeding male (Tostada) and in December a young female giraffe (Kamili) arrived to join our breeding herd. During September, we transferred a group of five spider monkeys to Australia. The Orana team were thrilled to breed the first ever addax calves in New Zealand in April.

It has also been a successful year on the development front. Most notably a brand new visitor café was completed and opened in October that has stunning views across the Park. A number of smaller projects were also completed including an upgrade to our quarantine building. Currently, a new Zoo School building is being constructed to create a modern learning space in the zoo to further enhance our successful education programmes. The new facility will be completed in time for Term 1 teaching.

“Orana operates as a charitable trust and must separately raise funds for capital developments. We rely on gate-takings to operate so take this opportunity to sincerely thank the community for their support by visiting us,” concludes Catherine.

Orana’s key highlight of the decade: Development of the Great Ape Centre in 2015, Orana’s biggest ever project, that is home to New Zealand’s only gorillas. For the past two years, Orana has also had the privilege of holding the country’s only orang-utans (soon to return to Auckland Zoo).

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19: 2 Border-Related Cases Confirmed

Two people who completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland case are now being treated as confirmed COVID-19 infections. “While we still can’t categorically rule these out as historical infections, ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Risk Of Being Short Changed By Pfizer

Who knew that the delivery of the Covid vaccines was going to be such a headache? All the predictions had been around the likely distribution problems. Would there be enough trained vaccinators around the country, a sufficient number of medical glass vials, a sufficiently robust “cold chain” to safely store the vaccines out in the field? All those issues remain. Currently though, production and delivery concerns are also hovering over whether the drug companies will live up to their contractual commitments, on time... More>>

 

New Zealand Government: Moves On Climate Promises

The Government is delivering on its first tranche of election promises to take action on climate change with a raft of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target, create new jobs and boost innovation. More>>

ALSO:

National: Leader Of The Opposition’s State Of The Nation Speech

Kia ora and thank you for that welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Auckland and the EMA for hosting me at this first event in your centenary year. National and Rotary share many common principles, including community ... More>>

ALSO:

Ministry Of Health: Probable Case Of COVID-19 In A Returnee

The Ministry of Health is investigating a positive test result in a person who recently travelled from overseas and completed their stay in managed isolation in a facility in Auckland. In the case we are investigating and reporting today, the person had ... More>>


ALSO:


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand And China Sign FTA Upgrade

Trade Ministers for New Zealand and China today signed an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries. “This modernises our free trade agreement and ensures it will remain fit for purpose for another decade,” Minister for Trade ... More>>

Oxfam NZ: Wealth Of New Zealand’s Richest Person’s Soars By $3.4bn Since Beginning Of Pandemic

New Zealand’s richest citizen, Graeme Hart, has seen his fortune increase by NZ$3,494,333,333 since March 2020 – a sum equivalent to over half a million New Zealanders receiving a cheque for NZ$6,849 each, reveals a new analysis from Oxfam today. The New Zealand ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels