AFC Announcements

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/30
Other Inhabitants of Whenua Hou

Kakapo are the largest non-human terrestrial denizens of lovely Whenua Hou. But they have many interesting neighbors.

 

Prior to humans, birds were the dominant vertebrates on the New Zealand Continent. The only mammals, some small bats, were tiny in comparison to the giant moas and eagles that roamed the landscape. Kakapos were the most numerous parrot in the land, when humans arrived.

 

2014/04/30
The Whenua Hou Ecosystem

Whenua Hou is the island home to the Kakapo. It was originally unhihabited, until the local Maori on the mainland gave the island to Maori-European couples to settle (and presumably to keep them separate and out of trouble). Sealing was the main interest, and life was rugged. Eventually the sealing trade diminished and the population of humans declined.

 

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/30
The story of Lisa1

 

 

 

What an extrodinary story!

 

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/29
Starting the art flow

13 April 2014

With all the diversions and interesting things going on, time is ticking away and I am ready to get on with some serious art work.

 

Field sketching is a good base for all illustration. Supplemental (but not professional) photography is integral to proper scientific illustration, so in truth I have already begun!

 

Ranger Hut on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island
2014/04/29
Life at the Hut

12 April 2014

 

Life at the ranger hut is both routine and extrordinary. Every person on the island works very hard; long hours and often through the night and day. The rangers repair, fix, maintain, catch invisible birds, health check, replace transmitters, track, babysit volunteers and do so much more. They are men and women of great endurance, strength, dedication and knowledge.

 

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/28
Hot Chicks!

12 April 2014

 

Yes, that's right. HOT CHICKS!

 

Unseasonably warm and fine weather on Whenua Hou has brought sun-loving people outdoors, sandflies in numbers, and minor inconvenience to the babies in the rearing unit.

Contrary to everything known about baby birds, and to incubating and hand-rearing baby parrots, Kakapo chicks need to be...COOLED! Kakapos are adapted to cold temperatures, and as the chicks grow and are able to regulate their own temperature, warm weather can bring stress.

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/28
Nest-minder Dr. Pat!

Over Night, 11-12 April 2014

Nest-minder for the night!

The sweet sounds of moorpork owls and kakas singing in the night, soft wind in the rimu trees; gentle mist and a little hard rain. What could be closer to paradise? A mother kakapo and her chick, of course!

Good news and bad news--I loved this opportunity but I knew it would be hard on my out-of-shape-fat-postchemo-no-endurance body. Luckily Darryl was kind, forgiving and understanding and we made it to the nest site (without stroke or heart attack) just as Huhana left for her first foraging of the night.

Artists for Conservation
2014/04/28
Arrival at Whenua Hou!

11 April 2014

Arrival! Hoki mai!

At long last, the day has come to depart for the beautiful sanctuary island of Whenua Hou.The day dawned clear and cold in Invercargill, open skies with whispy cirrus clouds. No wind!

 

The first stage was arrival at the quarantine store, where all gear, persons and supplies were minutely inspected for seeds, soil, rodents, insects and other contamination. The entire process for 2 volunteers was about two hours.

 

 

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