Bioluminescent limpets

Bioluminescent Limpet. Opanuku Pipeline Track, Auckland, New Zealand

Last night I found myself standing in the middle of a bubbling bush clad stream. The full moon danced on the water, I turned my headlamp off and suddenly the stream banks came to life with glow worms. But the best bit was when I looked back down at where I had been walking. You see I had heard this was a great place to see the only bioluminescent limpets in the world. I was blown away by how bright they were, when disturbed the limpets release a bright green slime – so my footprints were lit up like a Michael Jackson video. My wonder was not displaced by my guilt for disturbing them and I proceeded to disturb more in order to document the behaviour (sorry guys). We need stronger bottom lines for fresh water quality if we are to keep wonderfull little creatures like these for future generations.

Latia (probably Latia Neritoides). Opanuku Pipeline Track, Auckland, New Zealand
Latia (probably Latia Neritoides). Opanuku Pipeline Track, Auckland, New Zealand

How to be wild and free

“No!” This is how we teach restraint, over time the child masters the rules and becomes a functioning member of society. But he finds pleasure in the quiet places where no one can yell “No” at him, places where the rules don’t apply, where he can be wild and free.

There is a huge psychological transformation that occurs when you’re outdoors and find that you are no longer alone. Every imaginable cultural judgement can be projected in just a single person. They are not just changing our behaviour they are changing how we think, making us self conscious.

Some people feel this more than others, but perhaps this is why humans bleat and stomp about environmental rules. Because when we are in the wild with all those wild things, we feel wild too. We feel free from all those rules and judgements, those “No”s. So we fight those that tell us “don’t go there”, “don’t kill that” or “leave that alone”. Because they are reducing our freedom, which is true. But unfortunately we live in a world of human expansion and decreasing environmental resilience, our choices now have a greater cost than those of previous generations. We are slowly learning we can longer afford to be wild, we have to share our freedoms, not just with this generation but the next one too.

The reason the human population has grown so fast is because we are so adaptable and culture (our behaviours and technology) has evolved and will continue to evolve much faster than our genes. Those that are following the rules, participating in restoration, conservation, trash removal, pest eradication, citizen science and moving from eating to recording wildlife are developling a new culture. This new culture is already growing fast and with it some of our wilderness is coming back, building resilience and expanding our freedoms. We are finding a new way to be wild and free.

Why we need to do something to fix our freshwater

NZ Herald

Grave warning for NZ’s freshwater life

NZ’s ‘clean environment’ under threat

Water pollution – we can fix it

Most rivers in New Zealand too dirty for a swim

Dairy conversions still hurting our lakes and rivers – commissioner

Dairying’s environmental harm a ‘zero sum’ – study


Many NZ rivers unsafe for swimming

Dairy continues to damage water quality

Explainer: 98% Pure NZ

Cooking oil the tip of the iceberg for polluted Canterbury waterways

New Zealand’s ‘high risk’ beaches for water quality

Manawatu River ‘among worst in the west


NZ water quality getting worse – report

Completely backwards step for freshwater – expert
Is New Zealand really clean and green? A new report suggests we’re not

‘Massive intensification of dairy farming’ is killing freshwater fish – expert


Water quality getting worse – report

Labour: Govt failing on water quality

Lake water quality deteriorating – Smith

Cities urged to act on water quality

Kiwis too optimistic about water quality

NZ walk to raise water quality awareness

Changes to land use bad for water quality – Commisioner

Some farmers refuse to comply with water quality standards

Dairying blamed for damaging South Island water quality

Labour criticise Govt’s three year delay on water quality laws

Radio NZ

Public ‘misled’ over river water quality

Farming damaging environment – report

Environment report depressing – opposition

Deadline to fix Canterbury rivers missed

Freshwater species disappearing rapidly

No prosecution over Tukituki River pollution

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Environment Commissioner warns water quality is “not out of the woods yet

Water quality: Nutrients

Water quality: Vulnerability & mitigation

Water quality: Changing land use

Water quality: Policy

Managing water quality: Examining the 2014 National Policy Statement

Thanks to Tom for the links

Predators in our midst

A dead possum on a main road (near my house) in suburban Auckland.
A dead possum on a main road (near my house) in suburban Auckland.

When I first started trapping I was amazed by the quantity of Possums I caught. I worked multiple trapping lines in the city that were surrounded by houses, roads and waterways. Where were the possums coming from?

There were two articles about local rat ‘attacks’ Rat chews ear of sleeping 9-year-old & School warns students over rats after teen bitten by dying rodent recently. And they got me thinking again… where do they come from? Do the rats really come from the bush like the article claims or are the rats just as dense in suburbia? And what of the possums? Maybe it’s time we put some tracking tunnels and wax tags up in our backyards because if we really want a Predator Free NZ we are going to have to start at home.