Auckland Zoo and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are launching Auckland’s Conservation Week celebrations at the Zoo on Sunday 12 September with a family fun day from 11am to 2pm.
The Zoo has joined forces with DOC and TVNZ 6, co-producers of Meet the Locals, to give you the chance to meet some special local wildlife, and participate in lots of other fun activities.
Auckland Conservator Sean Goddard says DOC is thrilled to be launching Auckland’s Conservation Week celebrations at Auckland Zoo.
“It’s a great place for visitors to learn about conservation efforts to save New Zealand’s precious native wildlife. We hope that this event will encourage Aucklanders to get out and show how much they love New Zealand, and Conservation Week certainly offers plenty of opportunities to get involved,” says Mr Goddard.
On the day, experience some of New Zealand’s wonderful animal life at the Zoo’s NZ Fauna encounters – at the band rotunda and the Grasslands theatre – giving you the chance to see kiwi, tuatara, and other New Zealand wildlife up close.
In a specially set-up marquee, you can get a sneak preview of TVNZ 6 Meet the Locals Conservation Week special, and meet new presenter Dr James Reardon. There will also be the opportunity to chat to zoo keepers and DOC rangers.
Conservation Week is also the last chance to add your personal message for the International Year of Biodiversity to a giant kakapo model - telling the world why biodiversity matters to you, before the messages are flown to Japan for next month’s Convention on Biological Diversity.
In addition, you can view art done by schoolchildren from Great Barrier Island and see a photo display from the students of Newton Central School.
“New Zealand has some incredible natural flora and fauna, which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Conservation Week is a great time for New Zealanders to appreciate our natural treasures and learn how we can protect them,” says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.
As well as the launch event, there will be a range of activities at the Zoo during Conservation Week. On Tuesday 14 September at 7pm, come along to a free talk starring international frog experts who will be speaking about the global amphibian crisis, and New Zealand and overseas frog conservation projects.
On Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 September come and get your hands dirty by planting a seedling, and learn about some simple things that you can do at home to see more of New Zealand’s unique species.
Or, if Kiwi comedy is more your thing, come along and catch the likes of Dai Henwood, Jeremy Corbett and Paul Ego perform stand-up at the Zoo’s Old Elephant House on Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 September, in support of the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi’s kokako conservation work.
Normal Zoo admission prices apply for the day events.
“Words on a Wing” project
For the past three months, two giant kakapo constructed by DOC have been travelling to schools, zoos and museums gathering cardboard feathers as they go. Each feather bears a message from children and adults around the country about why biodiversity matters to them.
International Year of Biodiversity photo competition
The “Words on a Wing” project is just one way DOC is celebrating the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. In partnership with UNESCO, NIWA and Forest & Bird, DOC has also been running a photo competition. Photos will be screened at the Band Rotunda, and winners will be announced during Conservation Week. Paul Smith (Communications Chair, NZ National Commission for UNESCO) will be presenting awards to students.
About Auckland Zoo
Auckland Zoo is an enterprise of Auckland City Council. It is home to the largest collection of native and exotic wildlife species in New Zealand (over 720 animals and 117 species) and attracts over half a million visitors annually. It is becoming increasingly well-known nationally, and internationally through the award-winning television programme, The Zoo.
At the heart of all Auckland Zoo's work and activities is its mission: "to focus the Zoo’s resources to benefit conservation and provide exciting visitor experiences which inspire and empower people to take positive action for wildlife and the environment". Auckland Zoo is a member of both the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA).
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