Saturday, 21 May 2016

Zealandia--one of the jewels in Wellington's crown

This photo of a magnificent Kaka was taken by Tom Lynch, a prime visionary in the creation of Zealandia: an 'on-shore island' of conservation in Wellington, within a few minutes trip from the Beehive. Zealandia has been constructed for the protection of our greatly endangered small remnant of a once-prolific bird paradise. These birds, along with other unique animals, once thrived on an isolated, mainly mammalian-free group of islands called New Zealand. Representatives of these rare birds, reptiles and fish now have safe sanctuary in the middle of the capital city.

The kakas were screaming overhead as I walked to my post in the valley early today. Uplifting. I was privileged to be part of a gang of volunteer helpers to run the 'open day' at Zealandia.  A gold coin donation was enough to visit and experience the growing attractions. When I knocked off in the middle of the day, 1400 visitors had already been admitted on a fine, calm day.

I support Zealandia as a superb conservation effort--a place of education for our own people & those visitors from afar. It needs our whole-hearted support.We among all the mammals have been paramount in the downfall of these wonderful creatures, destroying their habitat and introducing other predators. The kaka are being bad-mouthed for some damage they cause to trees in residents' gardens in the halo zone around the sanctuary. But do they threaten us the way we do them? --even their very existence? I say, leave them be, and celebrate their revival--after all, who were here first?

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