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Source: University of Otago

Professor Phil Seddon, Department of Zoology
For the last 21 years I have been leading annual field trips to the Aoraki/Mt Cook region for Wildlife Management students, where, amongst other activities with our Department of Conservation hosts, we observe the critically endangered kaki/black still on the Tasman River delta. Usually, the trip takes place in March, but in 2020 we were in lockdown, and so held the trip instead in winter. The normally deep unstable silts of the delta were frozen, enabling us to venture far out in search of kaki, until the DOC staff warned us that our icy footing was rapidly thawing. We beat a hasty retreat to firm ground – but not before I snapped this shot looking up the Tasman River towards Aoraki. (The students in the shot also made it back to safety).
I’m an Otago graduate from back in the 1980s, then spending 12 years overseas, in southern Africa and in the Middle East, before returning to New Zealand to take up the Directorship of the Otago Postgrad Wildlife Management Programme. My work both in and outside of New Zealand has exposed me to some fantastic landscapes and wildlife and I’ve long been interested in trying to capture images of these – though I also try to strike a balance between looking through a lens, and just absorbing the moment and the memory without technology.
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