Bellbirds return to campus: biodiversity benefits us all

Happy International Day for Biological Diversity for Sunday 22 May. The 2022 theme is “Building a shared future for all life”, and UC is onboard with new initiatives to increase biodiversity on campus.

Take a walk: 23 May 12 noon 
Join Biodiversity Coordinator, Emily Arthur for a biodiversity walk around campus on 23 May at 12 noon – meet on the north side of Ernest Rutherford, outside Ancestral Café.

Predator Free – be part of the plan:
You can contribute to biodiversity from your own backyard, on campus or join a local group to help reduce predators. Trapping rats is easy (check out this page if you are not sure how it works). UC student Jade Humphrey founded Predator Free Riccarton – you can join her or find other groups here. UC is also calling on volunteers to help check trap lines around campus – email to join team tiakitanga.

Local action, global importance:
“Biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges. From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better,” says the Convention for Biological Diversity.

Read all about it (latest news):
Why you should start composting now – with environmental science students Jess and Kaitlyn Lamb. See Jess and Kaitlyn on Seven Sharp last week.
Biodiversity is everyone’s business with Biodiversity Coordinator Emily Arthur. Listen out for Emily on RNZ Nights on 2 June.
Freshwater ecology with Angus McIntosh
Invasive monkeyflower with MSc student Aaron Millar
20 years on: World-leading Afromontane project restoring rare ecosystem – with Assoc Prof Hazel Chapman.

UC’s biodiversity goals:
UC’s new draft Biodiversity Plan will improve stream quality, reduce predators, increase insect diversity and increase the canopy cover on campus between now and 2025. So, you will see more native trees, more native birds and maybe a weta or two on campus.

Proposed targets for 2022:
• UC will improve stream quality by removing sediments and monitoring impacts of discharges of cooling water from legacy buildings into streams.
• UC will reduce impact of predators on campus birdlife, insects and reptiles (targets to be identified) by coordinating nest monitoring, coordinating predator study, and reducing predator numbers
• UC will Identify targets for increased insect biodiversity with an insect survey, increasing biodiversity in undisturbed areas of grounds, and showcasing insects of interest such as giant stick insects, weta.
• UC’s canopy cover to be aligned with internationally accepted targets; we will reach a potential canopy cover target with UC staff.
• UC will showcase and expand UC’s biodiversity research – look out for a campus-wide event showcasing biodiversity research and teaching activities this year.

Well, that covers it… activities, research, operations, plans and traps – happy Biodiversity Day!

One thought on “Bellbirds return to campus: biodiversity benefits us all”

  1. I heard the bellbirds singing in the trees outside Matariki when it was raining this morning – was so great!

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