How much do you know about our wildlife?

Question 1: The Visitor Centre, opened in 2009, is the starting point for all visits to Orokonui...
Question 1: The Visitor Centre, opened in 2009, is the starting point for all visits to Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Photos: Alyth Grant
With the arrival of December and the approaching holidays, we take stock of our year: What have we experienced?, What have we learned? For students it is exam-time. How much do you, the Wild Ways reader, know about our wildlife? Test yourself, so that you get it right when you show your visitors around Dunedin’s ecosanctuary.

 

1 What recycled product is a feature of Orokonui Ecosanctuary’s Visitor Centre? (see photo)

2 What is the name given to Orokonui Ecosanctuary by local iwi?

BIRDS

These days we tend to know our native birds, thanks to the morning birdcall on RNZ. And many of us participate in the garden bird-count in winter. How well can you do on bird facts? An easy one to begin with

3 Which bird has an egg weighing around a fifth of its body weight?

4 What is the Maori name for the bellbird?

5 Our overseas visitors particularly enjoy our songbirds. One of them has two voice boxes. Which?

6 Several times Orokonui has had a celebrity visitor who has attracted hundreds of visitors from far and wide. Who is he?

7 He is New Zealand’s largest parrot, and visits us only occasionally, but our smallest native bird has always been with us in the Orokonui bush. What species is that?

8 This season NZ’s fastest bird has chosen to nest in the safety of the ecosanctuary. It has eyesight eight-times better than humans and can carry prey six times its own bodyweight. Which bird is it?

9 What is ‘‘the bird of the year 2017’’?

Question 10: These two birds, siblings, were hatched at Bush Haven, near Invercargill, and came...
Question 10: These two birds, siblings, were hatched at Bush Haven, near Invercargill, and came to Orokonui recently.
10 What do the birds and the flowers in the photo have in common? (see photo)

BOTANICAL KNOWLEDGE

You probably did quite well on those questions. But how good is your botanical knowledge? It is not everyone’s strong point.

11 What is the Maori word for yellow that is also the name of a native tree?

12 One of the tree-ferns familiar to all New Zealanders bears the scientific name cyathea dealbata. What is it’s common name?

13 Megalaria Orokonuiana is the name of a plant species identified for the first time at Orokonui. What type of plant is it?

14 Rimu, matai and miro are examples of podocarp trees. What does ‘‘podocarp’’ literally mean?

Question 15: Daisies in full bloom in the rare plants garden at present.
Question 15: Daisies in full bloom in the rare plants garden at present.
15 In our rare plants garden a daisy native to eastern Otago is at present in full bloom. What is it called? (see photo)

16 If you have not been to Orokonui lately you may not know the name of our cafe. Most appropriately, it has been given the name of a native tree known for its spicy flavour. Do you know it?

SPECIALISED KNOWLEDGE

And now we come to some more specialised knowledge that may test how well have you taken in our Wild Ways stories.

17 The sex of which native species is determined by the soil temperature in which the eggs are incubated?

Question 21: The ACOs visible along several walking tracks are part of a research project being...
Question 21: The ACOs visible along several walking tracks are part of a research project being carried out by volunteers.

18 Here’s a recipe: Mix up mince, ox heart, softened cat biscuits, apple, pear, carrot, peas, wheat germ and some vitamins. Who do you think would thrive on this?

19 What creatures can be protected when cats wear the brightly coloured ‘‘BirdsBeSafe’’ collar, and why?

20 We all know the phrase ‘‘a gaggle of geese’’, but what is the collective noun used for moths?

21 What would you hope or expect to find under an ACO (Artificial Cover Object)? (see photo)

22 Name two of the important areas of research carried out at Orokonui by research scientists.

23 What name does Orokonui’s educator Tahu give to the Port Chalmers preschoolers who regularly visit Orokonui?

Question 23: Educator Tahu Mackenzie and parents with the Port Chalmers preschoolers who...
Question 23: Educator Tahu Mackenzie and parents with the Port Chalmers preschoolers who regularly get close to nature.

 

24 How many takahe chicks have hatched at Orokonui in the past three seasons?

25 What name is given to the project the Landscape Connections Trust is now working on to extend the protection of native wildlife beyond the Orokonui fence?

- Alyth Grant is a volunteer at the Ecosanctuary, ever enjoying learning new things.

 

ANSWERS

1. Shipping containers. 2. Te Korowai o Mihiwaka (The precious cloak of Mihiwaka). 3. The kiwi. 4. Korimako. 5. The tui. 6. Sirocco, the kakapo. 7. The rifleman. 8. Karearea, the NZ falcon. 9. The kea. 10. They share a name: kaka. 11. Kowhai. 12. The silver fern. 13. A lichen. 14. Fleshy foot. 15. Celmisia hookeri. 16. Horopito, pseudowintera colorata, or pepper tree. 17. The tuatara. 18. Young Haast tokoeka, being nurtured in the Orokonui kiwi creche. Until they have learned to probe in the ground for food they need daily supplementary feeding. 19. Birds, lizards and frogs, which have good colour vision (unlike mammal pests). 20. A whisper of moths. 21. Lizards: skinks and geckos. 22. Tuatara; translocation of bird species; techniques for lizard translocations; forest regeneration; rare plant translocations. 23. They are her ‘‘Ecowarriors’’. 24. Four. 25. The Orokonui Halo Project.

If your quiz score was ‘‘not so impressive’’ perhaps it’s time to visit Orokonui. Our guides and cafe staff would love to see you over the summer. You will be greeted by many new arrivals, including this season’s fledglings, who are already audible and visible.

Add a Comment

1218b006_620x60_v2.jpg

1218b006_620x40_v2.jpg