Southern honours: Lloyd Esler


Invercargill teacher and natural history guide Lloyd Esler (51) received the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

After teaching for three years at Tweedsmuir Intermediate in Invercargill, he taught at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery from 1991 to 2001.

During this time he established the Museum Young Explorers Club at the Southland and Otago Museums.

He ran the Southland Science and Technology Fair for more than 15 years and now runs an annual social studies fair for primary and secondary school pupils.

After studying botany at Otago University, and education at the Otago Polytechnic College of Education, he worked at the Otago Museum from 1978 to 1986.

A boyhood interest in taxidermy and model-making led to making natural history displays at Te Papa and the Southland and Otago Museums.

"My father was a botanist, and I was pickling spiders when I was 4 and was pinning butterflies by 5. Later on, it was birds. It all led to an interest in astronomy, and ornithology and weather."

Since the early 1990s, he has been Southland regional representative of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, compiling surveys and records of dead sea birds and has contributed to the New Zealand Bird Atlas.

He has enjoyed giving natural history seminars and has assisted various organisations with field trips in Southland.

In 1998, he became a founder member of the Southland Natural History Field Club, and has also been an active member of the Southland Astronomical Society for the past 20 years.

Mr Esler is a foundation member of the Otatara Landcare Group, which wants native wetlands and forests preserved in the area.

For the past eight years he has given science presentations in schools and in 2006 released a book 150 Years, Invercargill 1856-2006 .

He received an Invercargill Civic Honours Award in 2007.

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