The Winter Lecture Series are back in 2017 and better than ever

Back by popular demand this year’s Winter Lectures Series has something for everyone. The Lectures are held once a month over the cooler months, and cover a range of fascinating topics; from penguins and Godwits to traditional fishing techniques. The free public talks are held at Moon Hair Salon, behind Wharf Rd Cafe. Come get cosy beside the fire with a warming drink. All welcome.

Monday 1st May, 7pm
The Godwits Migration: Long-haul Champions
Keith Woodley, Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre

Learn about the miraculous story of the godwits and their migrations. Follow the birds on their intrepid journeys, examining the places they visit, be it an estuary in northern New Zealand, a mudflat on the Chinese-North Korean border, or a tundra nesting site in Alaska. Keith Woodley, manager of the Miranda Shorebird Centre, details the amazing changes these birds undergo before their departure – from moulting into new plumage, to doubling their weight and shrinking non-essential body organs – as well as outlining their array of innate skills in weather prediction and global navigation.

Monday 12 June, 7pm
Conservation projects- motivations and pitfalls
Dr Chris Lalas, Penguin Rescue North Otago

Penguin Rescue is a charitable trust created to intensively manage a population of endangered yellow-eyed penguins. Chris has been involved for 35 years. His specialties here are population dynamics, diet, plant propagation, chainsaws, and battling weeds, bureaucrats and bozos. Chris will cover a variety of topics outlining the pleasures and frustrations of conservation management—motivations for involvement by volunteers; saving species vs saving ecosystems; facts versus beliefs; experience versus knowledge; competition for funds among NGOs; conflicts in judging success; cost-effectiveness of management practices; regular assessments and adopting changes; disturbance by tourists; relevance of land ownership; ensuring succession of personnel.

Monday 10th July, 7pm
Impacts of creating an urban sanctuary in Wellington
Dr Colin Miskelly, Curator Vertebrates, Te Papa

Colin was the Department of Conservation representative on the Karori Sanctuary Trust Board from 1998 to 2010. He was a DOC staff member for 19 years before joining Te Papa in 2010, where he was the driving force behind the creation of the New Zealand Birds Online website launched in 2013. His talk will discuss the dramatic changes in Wellington since the establishment of the Sanctuary, based on 21 years of bird counts undertaken between 1995 (pre-fence) -2016.

Monday 7th August, 7pm
Mäori fish-hooks; catching fish using wood, bone, stone & shell
Dr Chris Paulin, Author of Te matau a Maui: Fishhooks, Fishing and Fisheries in New Zealand

This lecture will follow the evolution of form and function of the traditional (pre-European) Mäori fish-hook, describing the impact and changes to Mäori fishing methodology arising from cultural and technological changes that followed European settlement, and the development of commercial fisheries in New Zealand. The history of the first 200 years of fisheries in New Zealand is largely a tale of open access to what was seen as an unlimited resource, within the context of present day political debates surrounding conservation, customary, commercial and recreational fishing access to the resource.  Dr Chris Paulin’s experience with natural history and ethnological museum collections includes 37 years as a marine biology curator at the National Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), where his research ranged from the taxonomy of New Zealand fishes to traditional Mäori fish-hooks and customary fishing techniques.

Monday 4th September, 7pm
Helping landowners enhance their slice of paradise 
Elaine Iddon, Waikato Regional Council

Regional Council have been working with landowners and communities to help prevent soil erosion, protect wetlands, bush fragments and streams since 1942, under the soil conservation act. Elaine works in the northern and western Coromandel helping landowners and community groups achieve their aspirations for their piece of paradise.  So come along and hear the variety of things that landowners and Waikato Regional Council are working on together to enhance land, water quality and our biodiversity on the peninsula

So pop those dates in your diary, and don’t forget to come early to secure a seat. We’ll see you there.