Show your Dunedin backyard some love this Conservation Week!
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionPeople of all ages are encouraged to look in their backyard this Conservation Week to see how they can help protect and nurture our amazing and unique wildlife.
Date: 05 October 2017
Conservation Week runs from 14-22 October and this year the DOC wants people to convert their love of nature into action.
“We know that the vast majority of New Zealanders (85%*) rate conservation as important to them personally, yet still only about one in 10 have actively helped on a conservation project,” says Dunedin Conservation Week coordinator Claudia Babirat.
“We want to show people that conservation can be done in your own backyard, gardens, parks and marine areas. Even small actions make a big difference.”
“Our predator-free vision of ridding the country of rats, stoats and possums by 2050 starts in your own backyard. It’s great to see momentum gathering as more communities band together to make their own areas predator free.”
In Dunedin there are plenty of activities to show people how easy it is to get involved.
For example, on 15 October Toyota New Zealand and DOC are launching two brand new Kiwi Guardian adventure sites in Dunedin. One at Jubilee Park and the other at the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
The launch events will have scavenger hunts for kids aged 6 – 10 (the one at the Dunedin Botanic Garden will be guided by students from the University of Otago), as well as hands-on workshops to show kids how they can make a difference to conservation through actions such as predator tracking, weed ID-ing and growing their own kowhai.
On completion, kids can go to Kiwi Guardians and claim a medal for their efforts.
The Jubilee park event is 10 am - 12 pm, and the Dunedin Botanic Garden event is 2 pm - 4 pm (upper carpark, Lovelock Avenue).
Both locations will remain permanent Toyota Kiwi Guardian sites where families can do self-guided adventures with maps that are available online at Kiwi Guardians.
There are a number of other Conservation Week events happening throughout the week too.
These include watching seabirds (tītī/sooty shearwater and fairy prions) at the predator proof fence at St Clair, getting rid of weeds at Harbour Cone and Orokonui Estuary, getting close to tuatara at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, an exploration of the seashore at Deborah Bay, and predator control to help the tītī/sooty shearwater colony at Sandfly Bay.
“Getting out and taking care of our nature has the benefit of improving health and wellbeing, so it’s win-win,” says Claudia.
It’s great to see DOC’s partners also getting involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
For those who want a slice of the Toyota Kiwi Guardians action but aren’t able to attend a site launch, there is another option: we have a special Kiwi Guardians Conservation Week Medal, which is called Toa Tiaki Wai and involves a beach cleanup.
Check out www.conservationweek.org.nz for more details and full event listings.
- DOC’s partners also get involved in Conservation Week. This includes Genesis, who are encouraging kids to take part in a national competition with its Whio Boot Camp online game. As well as being fun, the game teaches players how a whio lives in the wild, eating, running rapids and hopefully avoiding predators.
- Toyota New Zealand are also getting involved. Our Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme connects kids with nature and rewards them with medals. Conservation Week marks the launch of our new waterways clean-up medal, Toa Tiaki Wai.
- *Engagement figures come from the Survey of New Zealanders 2016
Claudia Babirat, DOC Community Ranger
Mobile: +64 27 584 0342