Blake DOC Ambassador

The Blake DOC Conservation Ambassador award provides an opportunity for young scientists and conservationists to work on a conservation project in New Zealand, annually. The Blake Ambassador partnership with DOC started in January 2015. DOC partners with other organisations to manage New Zealand’s conservation through habitat protection and restoration programmes, biodiversity inventory and monitoring research projects. This year there will be three Blake DOC Ambassador Programmes: The Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project, Great Barrier Island Black Petrel Seabird Monitoring Project and the Port Waikato Beach Care's Shorebird Protection Programme.

Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project

The Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (RNRP) is one of the original six mainland islands set up in the mid 1990s to test pest control methods and establish best practice for DOC operations. Taking place in Nelson Lakes National Park, RNRP is a long term ecosystem restoration project. It is based in 5000 hectares of alpine beech forest alongside Lake Rotoiti. The project has a strong focus on ecological science, and in sharing lessons learnt. This opportunity allows a direct insight into current best-practice species work. It offers a unique experience working with innovative landscape-scale pest control techniques.

The RNRP is nearing it's 20 year anniversary and still retains a strong focus on research and development.

The work is varied and could include:

  • Predator trapping (for stoats, cats and possums)
  • Monitoring of trapping effort (tracking tunnels)
  • Native species monitoring (kea, robins, whio, snails)
  • Helping in one of the largest wasp control operations in the world
  • Kiwi health checks
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Data entry

Most work is undertaken during regular working hours although overnight trips outside the RNRP are possible. The work involves working with rangers and alone, handling dead animals and putting toxins into bait stations.

Time frame: February 2018

Great Barrier Island Seabird Monitoring

The focus of this Ambassadorship will be monitoring seabirds during nesting season and other species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island Island. This will include assisting biodiversity rangers with bird monitoring, ecosystem restoration work and working and liaising with community trusts. The Ambassador requires a strong conservation ethic, agile mind and an ability to work with people from a wide cross section of society.

Time frame: Late November to mid December 2017 or February 2018

Port Waikato Shorebird Protection Programme

The focus of this Ambassadorship will be working alongside a DOC Dotterel Ranger to assist with Port Waikato Beach Care’s Shorebird protection programme.This will include monitoring, trapping, public engagement, public compliance. The summer holidays from Christmas to Waitangi Weekend is the busiest time for visitors at Port Waikato and last summer provided the most successful results yet for NZ Dotterel and Variable Oyster Catcher chicks fledging. Last summer the programme was also able to identify previously unknown nesting locations.

The work is varied and could include:

  • Monitor the behaviour and breeding success of the resident shorebirds Predator trapping (for stoats, cats and possums)
  • Run the trapping programme at Port Waikato, Limestone Downs and Waikorea Beach.
  • Provide a Department of Conservation presence over the busy holiday period.
  • Advocate and educate the public on native shorebird breeding and threats.
  • Maintain fenced areas and signage

Time frame: Up to 6 weeks between Late November and early February 2017

Applications are Closed

Blake Ambassador partners
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