Kia ora Chris, we need to talk about biodiversity

We have heard you addressing the many crises and pressures facing us as a nation, but the crisis facing our native wildlife, our taonga species, needs to be addressed.

Nature is in crisis. Healthy, functioning ecosystems are our first line of defence against climate change and extreme weather events. So protecting our wildlife is better for nature, and better for us.

At the Southern Lakes Sanctuary – a coalition of over 80 predator trapping groups based in Queenstown and Wānaka – we are trying to save these taonga. We are one of many conservation groups striving to protect our native species from invasive predators. However, climate change brings added pressures:

Warming temperatures are enabling predators to reach new heights. Stoats have been trapped at 2,010m, and cats have been observed at over 2000m, threatening vulnerable alpine species like the rock wren / pīwauwau.

The cycles of our forests are also impacted. Beech masting seasons lead to a boom in rat numbers, followed by stoats. These predators then turn to eating native species like our beloved mohua. Climate change could increase the frequency of these events.

Southern Lakes Sanctuary is calling for increased and ongoing funding for the many conservation groups working to truly make a difference for New Zealand’s native wildlife.

Chris, our wildlife can’t talk, but we can and we’re hoping you can help.

From all of the team,
Southern Lakes Sanctuary
southernlakessanctuary.org.nz

eDNA monitoring and Spitfire trials

Southern Lakes Sanctuary is utilising new technologies in monitoring taonga species and predator eradication. We’re thrilled to be working with Wilderlab NZ Ltd on our Lizard eDNA monitoring, and Envico Technologies on the Spitfire possum control trials.

Read the article online at: https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/queenstown/new-tech-protects-wildlife   

In preparation for a collaboration with Envico, a few weeks ago we set out four lines of wax tags in a suitable location. When they were collected just 3 nights later, there was a lot of evidence of possum presence based on the chew marks. 

Fast forward to last week – a bunch of awesome groups got together to deploy 30 devices.

Introducing the Possum Spitfire… a clever device which has been in the planning pipelines for 10 years now and aims to specifically target possums. These self-resettable and automated devices will be used in biosecurity and projects where both eradication of animal pests or protection against re-invasions are the aim.

How does it work? The possum climbs up, stands on the plate where it is then weighed and reaches up to get to the lure located in the hood at the top. If they weigh 1.4kg or more, the mechanism sprays their stomach with a dose of toxin. The possum finishes its snack and waddles off unassuming, only ingesting the toxin when it grooms itself later. 

Each device contains 100 meticulously measured doses and will be checked by our crew every 10 days. The devices will be out for four months and then follow-up wax tag lines will be set out to compare the results.

The team from Envico who developed the device and the Boffa Miskell crew who are project partners, commented on how exciting it was to have reached this point. We were more than happy to help out alongside team members from Predator Free 2050 Limited and Trap and Trigger

Thanks to Department of Conservation who are also a project partner. Let’s hope we can knock down those possum numbers! 

If you want to find out more information about the toxin used then please visit: https://www.envicotech.co.nz/spitfire-devices

CLOSED: Biodiversity Monitoring, Queenstown

Covering the Wānaka & Whakatipu basins, the Southern Lakes Sanctuary is a landscape scale conservation project which aims to protect our ecosystems and taonga species.

A skilled and highly motivated conservation scientist is sought to deliver quality monitoring and data analysis to support the project’s goals.

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • Experience in planning and delivering both predator and native species monitoring programs
  • Relevant field experience with predator control projects
  • Proven data capturing, analysis and report writing acumen
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Enthusiasm for our taonga species
  • Relevant conservation qualifications.

Job descriptions on request. This is a full-time fixed term role to June 2024.

Applications close Thursday 26th January. Please send cover letter and CV to: michellec@bungy.co.nz.

CLOSED: Conservation Fundraising Manager, Queenstown

Covering the Wānaka & Whakatipu basins, the Southern Lakes Sanctuary is a landscape scale conservation project which aims to protect our ecosystems and taonga species.

To deliver the vision of significant biodiversity gains beyond the current Jobs for Nature project, substantial funding is needed.

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • Demonstrable skills in relationship building
  • Highly effective communicator
  • Self-driven and creative
  • Understands the objectives of donors and sponsors
  • Passionate about our vision and values
  • Fine attention to detail
  • Enjoys being hands-on in a project.

Working closely with the Project Director and core team members, this is an exciting opportunity to make a difference to biodiversity and conservation.

Job descriptions on request. This is a fixed term role to June 2024.

Applications close Thursday 26th January. Please send cover letter and CV to: michellec@bungy.co.nz.

CLOSED: Predator Control Field Crew Roles – Wanaka

This is an enterprising landscape scale conservation and human well-being project, aiming to provide both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for biodiversity conservation in the region.

We are seeking field crew to work predominantly in the Makarora and Matukituki catchments to:

  • Install new trap lines in the backcountry.
  • Maintain and clear existing and new traplines.
  • Construct traps.
  • Monitor biodiversity.
  • And do other general biodiversity enhancement tasks

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • A high level of fitness and the ability to carry heavy loads.
  • Being comfortable working both solo and as a small team for extended periods in the backcountry in variable weather conditions.
  • Commitment to conservation
  • The ability to stay overnight in the backcountry when required
  • Be familiar in use of a map and compass/GPS.
  • Commitment to excellent health & safety practices
  • Hold a current driver’s licence.
  • Willingness to handle dead rats.

A current First Aid certificate and firearms licence would also be advantageous. Job descriptions on request.

Applications close, Monday 5th September 2022, to: gsdworkforce@bungy.co.nz

CLOSED: Predator Control Field Crew, Glenorchy

Full-time, fixed-term position to June 2024

This is an enterprising landscape scale conservation and human well-being project, aiming to provide both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for biodiversity conservation in the region..

We are seeking field crew to work in Glenorchy to:

  • Install new trap lines in the backcountry.
  • Maintain and clear existing and new traplines.
  • Install and monitor live capture traps.
  • Dispatch caught cats, possums, hedgehogs.
  • Construct traps.
  • Monitor biodiversity.
  • And do other general bio-diversity enhancement tasks.

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • A high level of fitness and the ability to carry heavy loads.
  • Being comfortable working both solo and as a small team for extended periods in the backcountry in variable weather conditions.
  • Experience with firearms.
  • NZ firearms licence (or be in the process of obtaining one).
  • Commitment to conservation.
  • The ability to stay overnight in the backcountry when required.
  • Be familiar in use of a map and compass/GPS.
  • Commitment to excellent health & safety practices
  • Hold a current driver’s licence.
  • Willingness to handle dead rats.

A current First Aid certificate would also be advantageous.

For a copy of the Job Descriptions and to Apply, contact gsdworkforce@bungy.co.nz.

Applications close: Thursday, 14th July 2022.

CLOSED: Biodiversity Specialist, Queenstown

Conservation Specialist Role

Full-time, fixed-term position from January 2022 – June 2024

This is an enterprising landscape scale conservation and human well-being project, aiming to provide both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for biodiversity conservation in the region.

An experienced and highly motivated person is sought to design and execute a system of predator suppression and biodiversity conservation – involving practical application, monitoring and analysis of data.

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • Relevant conservation tertiary qualifications and field experience
  • Excellent Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proven data management, analysis and report writing acumen.
  • Job description on request.

Applications to: gsdworkforce@bungy.co.nz

Closing date, Monday 6th December 2021.

CLOSED: Planning Specialist, Queenstown

Conservation Specialist Role

Full-time, fixed-term position from January 2022 – June 2024

This is an enterprising landscape scale conservation and human well-being project, aiming to provide both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for biodiversity conservation in the region.

Performing a key coordination role across this project, this role will involve optimising the current predator suppression network and planning for expansion opportunities, including pest eradication and biodiversity gains.

Key attributes to succeed in this role:

  • Relevant conservation tertiary qualification
  • Extensive experience in planning conservation projects
  • Communication and multi-tasking abilities
  • Highly motivated, achievement-oriented and innovative professional.
  • Job description on request.

Applications to: gsdworkforce@bungy.co.nz

Closing date, Monday 6th December 2021.

CLOSED: Predator Control Positions, Upper Clutha

Community Co-ordinator

Funded through Jobs for Nature, the SLS project provides both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for wildlife conservation in the Region.

Part-time, 3 year term.

An enthusiastic and organised person is sought to work with the existing volunteers in Wānaka Backyard Trapping to educate and encourage community trapping.

Key attributes to succeed in this role;

  • Communication skills
  • Conservation enthusiasm
  • Technical trapping knowledge
  • Fundraising capabilities
  • Collaborative and sharing mindset

Please send your C.V and covering letter to: gsdworkforce@bungy.co.nz Job descriptions available on request.

Applications close Friday, 8th October, 2021.

CLOSED: Conservation Project Director, Central Otago

Landscape Scale Predator Control

This new conservation role is an exciting but demanding position for a motivated, collaborative and well organised leader.

The project is funded through DOC’s Jobs for Nature program, providing both employment opportunities and game changing outcomes for wildlife conservation in the Wanaka and Whakatipu areas.

The Project Director will be supported by a skilled Board and operational team to deliver the following accountabilities:

  • Ensuring predator control is delivered
  • Leading and developing an effective team
  • Managing project data
  • Collaborating with technical and operational personnel
  • High quality reporting
  • Building and sustaining quality stakeholder relationships

The right candidate will be able to demonstrate:

  • Relevant conservation qualifications and/or experience
  • Work experience managing staff, in-field duties and multi-tasking
  • Proven project delivery and enjoyment of taking responsibilities
  • Personal skills in relationship building and inter-personal communication
  • Excellent administration and budget management skills;
  • Clean and full NZ driver’s licence
  • A strong health & safety ethic
  • A positive attitude to getting things done

This position is for a 3-year fixed term, based in Wanaka or Queenstown with extensive regional travel. A position description and project synopsis is available upon request.

Applications with cover letter and CV close on 20 September 2021 to kiaora@southernlakessanctuary.org.nz.