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October Valley Voice Kids' Corner solution
1st October 2022
Here is the solution to the October Valley Voice Kids' Corner Bird Code Cracker! How did you get on?
Exciting Forest Explorations
3rd May 2022
In April we teamed up with Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and together with Ōpoho School explored Blacks Bush. It's home to Ōpoho Creek that winds its way down Signal Hill. With the fearless explorers, we investigated the creek, the plant species, and the predator monitoring (tracking) and trapping programmes as part of Predator Free Dunedin’s City Sanctuary project. Read the reports below from children who enjoyed visiting Blacks Bush.
Let's have a chat about Tracking Tunnels!
4th April 2022
Since we no longer have tracking tunnels available in the Trap Library, how about making your own? Check out the Kids’ Corner activity in the April issue of the Valley Voice or read below for some more ideas for how to make your own tracking tunnel! But first, I was really interested to discover the development of tracking tunnels and how and why we use them. A brief look into the past... I found the DOC Inventory and monitoring toolbox, which mentioned that tracking tunnels were first described by Carolyn King and R. Edgar, published in 1977 from their …
5th March 2022
Community Creek Consultation Last month, we gathered as a small group as part of our Community Creek Consultation. We discussed the visions we have and how we can connect with Lindsay Creek Creek in the future. We are currently collating the information from the preliminary creek survey and community consultation and feed this into a River Regeneration Plan. A huge thank you to everyone who filled in the Preliminary Creek Consultation Survey and came along to the Community Creek Consultation evening. Chingford Park has been a buzz with Working Bees Walking into the Riparian Rhapsody in Chingford Park felt …
Lizards lounging in the summer sun
5th February 2022
With long days that always seem to stretch on for hours and hours, I’m often reminded of the wildlife that will be delightfully relishing the warmer temperatures of the summer sun. I’ve mentioned lizards a few times within this blog, but I haven’t delved too much into the different types or species of lizards that we might find around Dunedin. First, I had to understand the difference between the two different types of lizards - geckos and skinks. Geckos and skinks are both lizards, but there are some physical features that make it easier to tell them apart. Geckos …
Curiously Consulting on the Creek
13th November 2021
What is your vision for Lindsay Creek? This is the question on the minds of the Open VUE Steering Group at the moment. While the vision for an open urban unfenced ecosanctuary still proudly stands tall amongst the urban forest, the Creek is a large piece of the Valley ecosystem puzzle. Gaining insight into your vision of Lindsay creek in 5, 10, 20, and 100 years will direct the mahi’s flow. The group is putting out preliminary consultation feelers while we are limited to gather, with plans for wider community consultation early next year. The journey of the Creek, …
Connect with nature this spring!
30th September 2021
Looking for a way to connect with nature this spring? One way that we love to connect with nature is through nature journaling, the process of recording your observations about nature onto paper. Local Illustrator Jo Bone, shows us how to do this by making string nature circles. Check out the activity below for how to make your own! How to make a string nature circle: Draw a circle on a piece of paper with a compass or plate. Cut a piece of string long enough to make a decent-sized loop, grab something to draw with and go for …
Self-medicate during lockdown with Vitamin N
3rd September 2021
Science Stories A spell in lockdown causes many of us to reflect on what it is that contributes to our feelings of well-being. Getting out of the house every day for a walk or cycle certainly seems popular during level 4, judging by the number of people who can be seen along North Road and in our local parks, enjoying the company of their dog, their bubble-buddies, and nature. There have been many studies in recent years that show that exposure to nature provides a range of benefits for our mental health and well-being. So, when national lockdowns …
The Curious Case of the Coprosma
5th August 2021
Phooey, what is that smell?? There’s an endemic plant in New Zealand called stinkwood (Coprosma foetidissima) that is known for having a malodorous whiff. My first experience of smelling stinkwood leaves was at the nearby Orokonui Ecosanctuary with my friends. One of them very excitedly pointed out a plant, saying that the leaves, when crushed, smelled of bubble gum. He was up to tricks because the smell was actually closer to rotten eggs! This rotten egg/sulfur smell is produced by a chemical called methanethiol which is released when the leaves are crushed. With our habitat restoration project moving from …
Prodigious, precious Peripatus
30th June 2021
When I first heard about the primeval invertebrates that are voracious predators with claws and a mouth lined with teeth, I was expecting some kind of large beastly creature. Peripatus, while not being large, probably do fit that description fairly well, but you might not think that just by looking at them. Braxton Mackenzie-White recently discovered them while looking through rotten logs and leaf litter for insects. As the dark was beginning to descend, he looked under the final log hoping to find some interesting small insects. As he was carefully turning the log over, he spotted something and …
Beholding Backyard Birds
5th June 2021
Take part in the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey!! 26 June to 4 July It’s coming up to a time of year that I love, when I wrap up warm and find a nice possie in my backyard to sit for an hour just watching and counting which birds come and visit. I also find it’s a great time to reflect on all of the other wonderful things about my backyard – the harakeke (flax) that when flowering attracts tūī and korimako (bellbirds) and the koromiko (hebe), which often has tauhou (silvereyes) and insects bouncing around it; or the …
Find Chew's In Your Backyard!
30th April 2021
Chew cards are one of the detection tools in our predator monitoring toolkit that help us to identify the presence of mammalian predators that might harm our native wildlife. Chew cards are made of plastic ‘corflute’ with many small channels that are filled with a peanut butter based (non-toxic) lure and can provide clues to help us to detect which mammalian predators are visiting our backyard. We can select the right trap to target specific species and. The great thing about chew cards is that they are easy to use and place in your backyard - using just a …