Living Planet Magazine Issue 20

Our supporters help us achieve some incredible things. In this issue of Living Planet, learn how you’re helping re-home kōkako, support wildlife rangers and save rare dolphins. But first, find out how New Zealand can be world leading on ocean protection, not just on the ocean.

Ocean protection can’t wait

Did you know that less than 1% of New Zealand's ocean is protected from exploitation? The other 99% is open for fishing, oil drilling, or seabed mining. That's a big part of why we're urging Parliament to pass the Kermadec Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill now. It's so important that we protect our ocean and the amazing creatures that live there.

With your support, we're continuing to ramp up the pressure on the government to take action. In the last few weeks we’ve put up billboards, taken out newspaper and digital advertising and produced videos to get the message out there. Watch the full video to find out how we can be world leaders on protecting the ocean! 

We’ve also set up an online call demanding that the government keep their promise and create the Kermadec Rangitāhua sanctuary now.

© Matt Binns / CC By 2.0

© Astrid Conjearts

A warm welcome for kōkako

Local conservation volunteers are our champions. They give threatened native birds a boost in the war against pests.  

Back in June, a breeding pair of kōkako made a triumphant return to Mt Pirongia, Waikato region. The birds with the distinctive blue wattles and haunting calls have not been found on the mountain in 20 years. It reflects the national trend – that the kōkako population is recovering. North Island kōkako numbers have increased from 330 pairs in 1999 to 1,595 in 2017. This wonderful achievement is due to predator control at key sites and translocation.

WWF-New Zealand supports the dedicated volunteers of Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society, who carried out the translocation. We’ve enabled them to maintain tracks as they carry out the predator control essential to this project. But we were only able to do this thanks to our supporters, and our partners The Tindall Foundation.

Devoted dolphin defender

Meet one of New Zealand’s youngest and most devoted dolphin defenders! Scarlett Lilly is only four years old but adores the critically endangered Māui dolphins. “They jump up high and down and splash. They are special to New Zealand. I want to save them,” she says.

“They need to be protected and if we don't help, they'll become extinct and we might not see another Māui​ dolphin again.”

This year, she was one of the people that took up the Māui Dolphin Challenge to fundraise for these animals. “We spent at least 63 minutes every week cleaning up rubbish, and made dolphin-shaped cookies,” says Scarlett’s mum Emma. She’s raised nearly $1000 so far – great work Scarlett!

But it doesn’t stop there. Scarlett’s also been raising awareness about Māui dolphins – “she tells anyone and everyone who'll listen!” And with only 63 left, we need as many people like Scarlett as possible.

Meet Han, a ranger of Cambodia

Han has been away from home for more than a week now. He is unwilling to leave the forests, concerned that there will be one less person to protect it. He knows unwanted visitors are here every day.

Han Sakhan is a wildlife ranger on the frontline of poaching. He protects some of our planet’s most precious species such as tigers, leopards and elephants. But he’s only able to do this because of people like you.

Supporters like you help to train and equip rangers like Han. Thanks to your support, WWF has helped improve training for rangers and equip them with the best new technologies. We also raise awareness of the work they do, with governments and local communities. Now the Government of Cambodia has an ambitious plan to reintroduce tigers to the Eastern Plains by 2022, making the work of Han Sakhan even more critical. 

Climate change is bigger than politics 

Like you, we love our beautiful planet – and we want to protect it. That’s why we're calling for all political parties to agree on a new plan to face climate change. We’re calling for cross-party agreement for a new climate law: the Zero Carbon Act.

We’re asking the government to take three steps: pass a new law to establish a climate committee set a long-term goal to reduce emissions, and make a plan to get there.

We’ve joined up with a diverse, nationwide network of organisations to spread the word far and wide. We’re asking Kiwis like you to add their voices to the call by signing a petition. Hundreds of people have already signed – have you? Join the call for a Zero Carbon Act.

"Climate change is bigger than politics. Passing the Zero Carbon Act and creating a climate commission would recognise this." David Tong, WWF-New Zealand campaigner

Watch the skies – the Great Kererū Count returns

Last year thousands of people took part in the Great Kererū Count. This year we need you to get outside and get counting again! Every year, we ask you to take part in this citizen science project to help us understand how kererū are doing across the country.

With their white breasts and vivid purple-green neck feathers, kererū are much-loved birds. They are also vitally important to the health of our forests, as they propagate native fruit trees by spreading seeds. Without the work of kererū, the forest would look very different. 

This year the Great Kererū Count is from 22nd September to 1st October 2017. Get the date in your diaries now! It’ll soon be time to turn your eyes to the skies and let us know about any kererū that you see.

Introducing our new Chief Executive - Livia Esterhazy

Recently WWF-New Zealand welcomed a new Chief Executive – and she’s really enjoyed settling in to her new role.

“I’d like to say kia ora to all you fellow nature lovers out there! I’m thrilled and excited to be leading such a dedicated and knowledgeable team and iconic brand. Watch this video to get to know me a bit better.”