Brent Beaven and a tīeke/saddleback
Image: Peta Cary | ©

Introduction

Our latest episode is with Predator Free 2050 expert Brent Beaven. Grab a cuppa and get comfy as Brent tells us everything there is to know about this goal.

Hosted by our Threatened Species Ambassador, DOC's Sounds of Science podcast offers a behind-scenes-look at how we care for NZ's native species and natural environment.

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Episodes

Episode 13: Predator Free and me (Part 1)

Brent is on the show to tell us everything we need to know about Predator Free 2050 – in fact, he told us so much, we’ve split his interview into two. This is part one. Brent is an expert on predator control and has decades of hands-on field experience. He's herded sea lions, been hounded by kiwi, and caught mohua in his socks. In the world of threatened species conservation, you name it and Brent has done it. Listen and learn.

  • The bird sound in this episode is the Northern brown kiwi
  • The music used is Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters
  • Brent’s excellent blog series about Predator Free is available on the Conservation Blog

Te reo Māori translation:

Kia ora! Ko Erica Wilkinson tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science. (Hi! My name is Erica Wilkinson and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science).

Kia ora, Erica, ko Brent Beaven ahau (Hi Erica, I’m Brent Beaven).


Episode 12: Marine Magic

Anton van Helden is a marine scientist by day moonlighting as a magician by night, although one could make the point that magic never sleeps. Anton has over 30 years of experience working with and studying marine mammals – before he worked for us, he was at Te Papa. Now, Anton works as a science advisor in our Marine Species Team, assigned to looking after Māui and Hector's dolphins. In this episode, you’ll hear talk of strandings, the subants, toxoplasmosis, pub statistics, and climate, as well as working with iwi on recovery of bones.

Abracadabra, are you listening closely?

Te reo Māori translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Erica Wilkinson tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Erica Wilkinson and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science.
  • Kia ora! Ko Anton tōku ingoa.
    Hello! My name is Anton.

The music used in this episode:

  • Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters.

Content warning

This episode contains specific discussion of dissection which some listeners may find graphic. We kept it reasonably high level. This content warning applies to 8 mins 3 secs to 11 mins 22 secs. 

And we also talk about taonga and why dissections are important for iwi at 23 mins 25 secs.


Episode 11: The best bits so far

In honour of Conservation Week, we’ve put together a supercut of all our favourite moments from the past ten episodes. Lichens, bats, kākāpō sperm helmets (we couldn’t make this up), GPS, poo patches and more – this episode is packed to the brim with stories from all of our previous guests.

The birdsong used in this episode is the pīwakawaka/fantail.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Erica Wilkinson tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science.
  • Hi! My name is Erica Wilkinson and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science

The music used in this episode:

  • Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters
  • Business or Pleasure by Avocado Junkie.


Episode 10: Time to talk climate

Jenny Christie is used to seeing eyebrows go up when she tells people what her job is. Perhaps a few years ago, this could be chalked up to scepticism, but nowadays it’s more likely to mean, ‘wow, big job’.

Jenny’s job is climate change. She approaches this from an adaptation point of view, which means working on what we can do to manage and reduce the impacts of climate change on our native species and ecosystems. In this episode, Jenny talks about adaptation work underway, what she says to naysayers, and some of the impacts on native species we’re seeing right now.

The birdsong used this episode is the North Island Robin. The music used is Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Erica Wilkinson tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Erica Wilkinson and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science
  • Kia ora, Erica. Ko Jenny Christie tōku ingoa.
    Hi Erica. My name is Jenny Christie


Episode 9: Non-vasc plants are all around

Kelly Frogley knows her stuff when it comes to non-vascular plants – and then some. In this episode, Kelly explains what a non-vascular plant is, and shares some stories about unexpected discoveries and making the most of non-optimum spaces for optimum plant identification.

We also talk about green-blindness and the importance of looking down. And up. And around – well, you get it. Non-vascular plants are all around!

The birdsong used this episode is the tui.

Music is Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Kō Erica Wilkinson tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Erica Wilkinson and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science
  • Kia ora Erica. Kō Kelly Frogley tōku ingoa. Nō Ōtautahi ahau, mō Te Papa Atāwai.
    Hi Erica. My name is Kelly Frogley and I’m living in Christchurch and I work for the Department of Conservation.


Episode 8: The Batman

Colin O’Donnell knows everything there is to know about pekapeka/bats. He’s accumulated some wild stories along the way. In the name of science, Colin has encountered popping bats, game-changing technology, tiger prints and gelatinous excretions – which is exactly as gross as it sounds.

Most importantly, we talk about the impact of predators on Aotearoa’s only endemic land mammal. This highlights the reason for us to work towards a Predator Free New Zealand.

The birdsong used this episode is the North Island robin.

Music is Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Kō Nic Toki tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki ngā Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Nic Toki and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science
  • Kia ora Nic. Kō Colin O'Donnell tēnei.
    Hello Nic. I’m Colin O’Donnell.


Episode 7: History with Herb

Conservation enthusiast and DOC legend Herb talks to Nic about his experience as a science communicator, navigating the bush before sat nav, being trolled by kea, and species protection on offshore islands. Plus, he treats us to some of his famous bird calls.

If there were such thing as conservation bingo, (sidebar: should we make that?), Herb would be a square all of his own, given how many times his name is mentioned in conservation conversation. “Ask Herb”, “See what Herb thinks” or “Herb might know” are popular refrains around here. Cheers to this stalwart of species survival.

The birdsong (well, bird scream) used this episode is the kea.

Music is Let’s Get Down to Business by Cast of Characters.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Nic Toki tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki nga Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Nic Toki and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science.
  • Kia ora tatou, kō Herb Christopers tokū ingoa, Te Papa Atawhai te mahi.
    Hello everyone [formal]. I’m Herb Christophers and I work for DOC.


Episode 6: Our invertebrates

Insect expert Eric Edwards talks to us about ecosystems, climate change and cataloguing critters. He also shares his adventures catching true bugs in Micronesia and navigating poo patches (!) in the Subantarctic Islands.

The sounds at the beginning and end are cicadas on Rough Island in Nelson.

Music is Let’s get down to business by Cast of Characters.

Te Reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Nic Toki tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki nga Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Nic Toki and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science.
  • Kia ora, Nic. Ko Eric Edwards tōku ingoa, kei Te Papa Atawhai ahau e mahi ana.
    Hello Nic. My name is Eric Edwards and I work at the Department of Conservation.


Episode 5: Bitterns

Emma Williams knows a lot about bittern/matuku. This is impressive because they’re very difficult to find. She calls them the ‘ninjas of the wetland’. In this episode, Nic and Emma talk about tracking bittern and embarrassing yourself in Mitre 10.

Listen to Emma’s tales of her adventures with bittern dog Kimi, as the duo work to protect wetlands’ precious conservation values. Plus, Emma teaches Nic how to do a bittern mating call, which will be a treat for your ears. Sort of.

The birdsong used this episode is the Australasian bittern/matuku boom.

Music is is Let’s get down to business by Cast of Characters.


Episode 4: Conservation Tech

Technical advisor Stuart Cockburn talks to us about his scientific innovations, which are world-firsts and have been critical in protecting native species.

Stu’s responsible for kākāpō snarks, track counters, seabird soundscapes, grasshopper detectors and much, much more. He also once got into a one-way fight with a great spotted kiwi (the bird started it,) and is directly responsible for Nic getting questioned by airport security. All in a day’s work for Stu.

A snark is a device that records transmitters on kākāpō.

The birdsong used this episode is the Australasian gannet.

Music is Let’s get down to business by Cast of Characters.


Episode 3: Our Lizards

Lizard expert Lynn Adams shares tales from the world of reptile conservation – including two near misses for the “curly wurly” tailed Chesterfield skink.

Lynn and Nic also discuss the main threats to lizards - mice, hedgehogs, habitat loss and climate change. They finish up on a positive note, with what we can do to help protect our native reptiles.

The birdsong used in this episode is kaki/black stilt.

Find out more:


Episode 2: The DOC vet

From kākāpō to kiwi, Kate McInnes is vet to all of New Zealand’s native species. It’s a one-of-a-kind job! Listen to Kate talk about avian lesions, kākāpō sperm and birds with salmonella.

Kate and Nic also reveal the humble origins of the now infamous ‘sperm helmet’, on display at Te Papa National Museum. 

The birdsong used in this episode is a dawn chorus with tui in the foreground.

Learn more about what to plant to support birds and wildlife.

Music is Let’s get down to business by Cast of Characters.

Te reo translation:

  • Kia ora! Ko Nic Toki tēnei. He kōnae ipurangi tēnei, e pā ana ki nga Sounds of Science.
    Hi! My name is Nic Toki and this is a podcast about Sounds of Science
  • Tēnā koe Nic. Kō Kate McInnes tōku ingoa, Kei Te Papa Atawhai ahau e mahi ana.
    Hello Nic. My name is Kate McInnes and I work at the Department of Conservation.


Episode 1: Marine mammals

Marine species expert Hannah Hendriks talks whale strandings, post-mortems and crucial data. 

The birdsong at the start of this episode is the North Island robin.

Find out more:


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