July 29, 2022

#19: Wildlife warrior

Avi has worked with big cats, endangered turtles, and renegade scamps like skunks and racoons. Now he’s here in Aotearoa New Zealand making sure wildlife goods don’t illegally cross the borders.

The most important thing he wants you to know is that before you shop or travel, please check if your item needs a wildlife permit.

Note: We had some sound difficulties with this recording. We’re sorry and have resolved this for future episodes. Avi’s stories are still top notch, and we hope you enjoy them.

For shownotes visit www.doc.govt.nz/podcast

June 27, 2022

#18 Cryptic critters

Stories about velvet worms, tiny frogs, crooning bats and more from ecologist Jess Scrimgeour. Jess knows that The Fab Five—in this case we mean kākāpō, kiwi, whio, takahē, and kererū—are easy to love, but she wants to light your spark for the hard to see, hard to hear, or hard to find critters too: like pekapeka/bats, wētā, pepeketua/frogs, and even the peripatus/velvet worm which fires a sticky substance when it feels threatened. How iconic. Shownotes and transcript at www.doc.govt.nz/podcast

March 10, 2022

#17 Shark talk

Renowned shark expert Clinton Duffy shares niche knowledge and on-the-job stories. Sharks have a little bit of a PR problem. They’re fascinating, intelligent creatures, and most of them mind their own business. But they are predators, and their reputation has become a bit mythical. In this episode, we break it down. 


We talk about how we monitor shark species in an area as complex and vast as the ocean, their reproduction methods which are so incredible it could have come from a sci-fi writer’s brain, and a shark species that walks on land. Not once have we told a lie.


Clinton Duffy is a Technical Advisor, Marine Species, and he works at the Department of Conservation in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Transcript and shownotes: www.doc.govt.nz/podcast

November 30, 2021

#16 Learning on the Job

There aren’t many jobs with us that Jack hasn’t turned his hand to. Remote island ranger, species monitor, trapper, hunter, ranger trainer, systems designer, operations manager—you name it, Jack has probably done it. He’s deeply passionate about conservation and has accumulated a lot of great stories.

In this episode Jack shares stories about powelliphanta, kōkako, tūturuatu, Canterbury mudfish, Mana Island flax weevil, alseuosmia the mimic plant, akeake the giant daisy, ongaonga the serious stinging nettle; as well as diesel grass, rockhopper penguins, sea lions, kiwi, and parea/Chatham Island pigeon. It’s a very full 39 minutes.

Show notes available at www.doc.govt.nz/podcast 

Did you know that Aotearoa’s rarest parakeet is a small, forest-dwelling bird, and there are only about 360 estimated to be left in the wild? The kākāriki karaka, or orange-fronted parakeet are in serious trouble. Listen and learn about the work to monitor and track this species, control predators in critical areas, and boost numbers with captive breeding. 

Show notes available at www.doc.govt.nz/podcast 

This is the much awaited second part of Brent Beaven’s Predator Free interview. In this episode, we’re talking about upcoming innovations as well as current predator control tools, and yes that includes 1080. This episode is a big swing and we hope it gives you some important context. Show notes available at www.doc.govt.nz/podcast

Brent Beaven tells us everything we need to know about New Zealand's goal to be Predator Free by 2050. How will we? What is this? Is it even possible? Brent has the answers. In fact he has so many, we’ve split his interview in two.

Brent is an expert on predator control and has decades of hands-on field experience. He's herded sea lions, been hounded by kiwi, and caught mohua in his socks. In the world of threatened species conservation, you name it and Brent has done it. Listen and learn. Show notes available at www.doc.govt.nz/podcast

March 12, 2021

Episode 12: Marine Magic

Anton van Helden is a marine scientist by day moonlighting as a magician by night (although one could make the point that magic never sleeps). In this episode you’ll hear talk of strandings, toxoplasmosis, pub magic and climate; as well as working with Iwi on recovery of bones. Abracadabra, are you listening closely?


CONTENT WARNING: Please be advised that the following episode contains specific discussion of dissection (we kept it reasonably high level) which some listeners may find graphic. This is 8.03 – 11.22. And at 23.25 we talk about taonga and why dissections are important for Iwi.

This is a supercut of all our favourite moments from the past ten episodes, as guided by Erica Wilkinson. Lichens, bats, kākāpō sperm helmets (we couldn’t make this up) GPS, poo patches and more. 

Jenny Christie is used to seeing eyebrows go up when she tells people what her job is. Perhaps a few years ago, this could be chalked up as scepticism, but nowadays it’s more likely to mean, ‘wow, big job’. Jenny’s job is climate change. She approaches this from an adaptation point of view, which means working on what we can be doing to manage and reduce the impacts of climate change on our native species and ecosystems. In this episode, Jenny talks about adaptation work underway, what she says to naysayers, and some of the impacts on native species we’re seeing right now.

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