Source: Department of Conservation
Most conservation work has been put on hold as we do our part to stop the spread, but for our biodiversity rangers, they’ve simply shifted to a new way of working which builds on their mahi pre-lockdown.
For one dedicated ranger, her work day changed from that of monitoring the Canterbury mudfish populations out in the field to analysing the data (over 18 years of it!) from home.
Allanah, a Biodiversity Ranger from the Mahaanui District in Canterbury, is busy at work whether or not there’s a global pandemic. This is her life before the lockdown and during Alert Levels 4 and 3.
Life before the lockdown
Pre-lockdown, Allanah had set minnow traps the day before and arrived that day to see how many and in what state the mudfish were at this site. This involves a visual inspection, checking for fungal growth (is the water quality affecting them?), their length and weight (are they finding enough to eat?), and sometimes, coming across the pregnant mudfish. This particular stream hadn’t been sampled before and came up on the radar as a site that was being looked at for future flood remediation works. They got a lot of mudfish that day (67 in fact), most of which were a healthy weight.
The local office have been sampling streams and ponds for Canterbury mudfish for many years and the data Allanah is working on dates back to 2002. There is a great source of data to help them make sure that this threatened species (Nationally Critical) is trending in a better direction.