interested in volunteering opportunities with us ~ we would like to hear from you…
Introducing some of our threatened species conservation programme volunteers.
Taylor Hume joined us at the start of the 2017/2018 Makarora braided river bird survey season. Since then she has been fortunate to be awarded an Internship with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).
Taylor is a Zoology graduate with Hons from Australia. Since graduating Taylor has shown commitment to her chosen path; immersing herself in volunteering activities to develop her fauna and flora survey skills and experience to help develop a career in wildlife conservation. She has volunteered on various projects in a range of environments with various species groups including mammals and sea turtles. Taylor welcomed the opportunity to expand her bird survey skills with us within the dynamic braided river environment of the Makarora River.
“Rachel Hufton and Anthony Coote taught me valuable skills like how to safely cross rivers as a team, identify wetland bird species in the area by call and morphology, and how to make observations and communicate together to prevent miscounting and re-counting individuals. It was a valuable experience that allowed me to familiarise myself with cryptic braided river bird species such as wrybill, which can be difficult to survey within this environment and that I might not of otherwise seen.”
We wish Taylor every success with her AWC Internship, her commitment and enthusiasm will certainly benefit a future career in wildlife conservation.
Rod Elliott from Lake Hawea has been volunteering with ABT since April 2018 and has been instrumental to the setting up of the braided river bird restoration programme.
It has been great to have Nick helping out on ABT’s braided river bird surveys and alpine invasive mammal trapping for rock wren protection this season.
Dr Andrew Shepherd is a resident of Makarora and has made a valuable contribution to the setting up of invasive mammal trapping programes for Makarora catchment threatened species protection – including braided river birds and the endangered alpine rock wren. Previously the Co-Director for A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, Andrew is now employed by the University of Otago where he teachers and researches in theology and ethics (with a particular research focus on environmental ethics). Andrew’s energy and enthusiasm (and that of his family) have been much appreciated since the initial establishment of Aspiring Biodversity Trust.
Karthic SS Wildlife and Conservation Film maker for New Zealand Natural History joined this years annual braided river bird survey. He found the experience quite an eye opener! That might have had something to do with the icy cold river crossings… Weather conditions weren’t optiminal during Karthic’s stay but he hopes to return to film the endemic wrybill in its true nesting habitat of the South Islands braided rivers. Karthic was a great addition to this years team along with other valued volunteers. He managed to get an awesome sound recording of a pair of morepork during his stay in the true wonder that is Makarora.
Nova Gillam a local resident of Makarora keen to assist with invasive predator control servicing and maintenance within the upper Wilkin Valley up to Lake Castalia with her dad Scott Gillam. Nova is a keen outdoors person and is invoved in various backcountry activities throughout New Zealand.
“Thanks so much for letting me join the trip, we had heaps of fun! Here I am checking a stoat trap on the way to Top Forks Hut. What a beautiful day, who would of guessed that the next day we would be in 2-3 feet of snow! I feel grateful as Tangata Whenua to be able to help Aspiring Biodiversity Trust to protect NZ’s cool little birds like the endangered rock wren and whio/blue duck. The outdoors is my happy place, I enjoy tramping and hunting and as I work part-time at Macpac I like to put the gear to the test. The experience was totally rewarding for me.”
“I am only one person but every trap counts!”
Thanks Nova, we look forward to seeing you in the up comming season!