Date: 08 December 2016
Tony Silbery with the painting he was awarded
A Wairarapa based DOC ranger has had his dedication to plant conservation formally recognised at an award ceremony in Wellington.
Tony Silbery received the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network’s award for an “Individual involved in plant conservation”. The network’s prestigious awards are now in their 13th year and are designed to acknowledge outstanding contribution to native plant conservation in New Zealand.
They are presented in six categories: school, council, community, plant nursery, young plant conservationist and the individual section which Tony won.
DOC’s principal science advisor Peter De Lange said: “Over many years of working for organisations like Percy Reserve, Pukaha/Mount Bruce and the Department of Conservation Tony has enthusiastically pursued conservation objectives working with some of New Zealand’s rarest plants. He is a national treasure”.
“Tony has an encyclopaedic knowledge of New Zealand’s native flora and he shares his knowledge generously”, says DOC Wairarapa Operations Manager, Kathy Houkamau. “But his real talent is his ability to understand how ecosystems work over large landscapes. In this area, he has a remarkable depth of understanding.”
Tony was presented with an original watercolour painting of the extinct native New Zealand mistletoe plant Trilepidea adamsii painted by renowned botanical artist Fanny Osbourne circa 1920. He will retain the painting for one year before passing it on to next year’s winner.
Annual Plant Conservation Awards New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
Garry Foster, Senior Community Ranger
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