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 wetland restoration. The free public talks are held at the Pepper Tree Restaurant in Coromandel town. Come get cosy beside the fire with a warming drink. All welcome. Pop those dates in your diary, and don’t forget to come early to secure a seat. We’ll see you there.

Monday 4th September, 7pm
Restoring a local treasure: exploring the potential of McGregors wetland
Jim Dahm, Coastal scientist/consultant

Jim Dahm is a coastal scientist involved in coastal restoration, coastal hazards and estuaries. Jim was responsible for initiating beach care/coast care work in New Zealand in the early 90’s and has worked extensively in coastal restoration for over 20 years. He will talk about the importance of wetlands and the potential of the MacGregor/Long Bay wetland to be restored and how that can add a recreational and environmental space for Coromandel residents and visitors alike.

We’ve had some fantastic speakers present already…

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
Helping landowners enhance their slice of paradise
Elaine Iddon, Waikato Regional Council

Water quality affects us all. Elaine will be looking at how authorities, landowners and communities can work together to prevent soil erosion; protect wetlands, bush fragments and streams. Outlining how each of us has a role to play in protecting and enhancing waterways and harbours in the Coromandel.  Elaine will discuss how aspirations are being achieved in the Coromandel.