Press Release – Canon NZ
Four groups that have shown commitment to protecting New Zealand’s environment are set to receive a share of $20,000 in products from the 2013 Canon Environmental Grants programme.
The winners, chosen from more than 75 submissions, have each selected $5,000 in products of their choice from Canon, including digital compact and DSLR cameras, video cameras, binoculars, projectors, multi-function printers and water-proof cameras.
Canon’s judges selected the winners after carefully reviewing the environmental merits of each project. Submissions were sought in School, Tertiary, Grassroots and Regional categories – adding the Tertiary category this year to better provide for exceptional need.
The winning projects are:
• School Award – Wellington Zoo (Newtown, Wellington) – teaching school children in Wellington about native flora and fauna.
• Tertiary Award – Massey University (Albany campus, Auckland) – researching the regeneration of the orange-fronted parakeet.
• Grassroots Award – Central Otago Ecological Trust (Alexandra) – managing the translocation of threatened lizards (Otago Skink and Grand Skink) to the Alexandra Basin.
• Regional Award – ARRC Wildlife Trust (Tauranga) – rescuing and protecting injured and orphaned wildlife in the Bay of Plenty.
Canon New Zealand’s Managing Director Yusuke Mizoguchi said it was great that each of the winning project teams are taking positive steps to protect New Zealand’s precious native species. “It is exciting to know that Canon equipment will be used to help monitor and rejuvenate native skink and parakeet populations and threatened wildlife in New Zealand.
“Our DSLR cameras and video cameras were one of the more popular products requested by entrants. However there were some submissions requesting specific technological products including binoculars – a great choice for watching wildlife from afar.”
Wellington Zoo – School award recipient, Wellington
Bush Builders is a hands-on conservation programme coordinated by Wellington Zoo that connects urban students with local flora and fauna. Approximately six schools are involved in the programme each year, which creates an in-depth learning experience for local students at curriculum levels one to eight.
The Canon grant of digital cameras and binoculars will allow breakout groups to capture findings and compare results, enabling students to engage with the programme to a higher degree.
Massey University – Tertiary award recipient, Auckland
Massey University’s Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences is planning to research the regeneration of the orange-fronted parakeet (Karaka kakariki) – a very secretive and poorly known species. The main objective is to obtain an accurate population estimate. Conservationists have released approximately 200 captivity-bred parakeets on island sanctuaries during the last nine years.
The research team will use the Canon equipment to photograph orange-fronted parakeet at specific feeding and nesting sites, allowing accurate identification of the parakeets for inclusion in a national database. This technology will also assist researchers detail a reliable habitat and climate guide.
Central Otago Ecological Trust – Grassroots award recipient, Alexandra
This community group is working to return locally-extinct and nationally endangered native lizards to part of the Alexandra Basin, where they once lived as a species. This restoration effort requires regular, physical monitoring to accurately record the presence, condition and behaviors of the Otago Skink and Grand Skink, which are among the most threatened reptiles in New Zealand.
Photography is a tried and proven method of carrying out accurate monitoring without disturbing the lizards. The Canon equipment will help photograph skinks before their release into the enclosure and at regular intervals to document their survival.
ARRC Wildlife Trust – Regional award recipient, Tauranga
ARRC’s team of volunteers assist the Department of Conservation and the Rotorua and Tauranga SPCA rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife in the Bay of Plenty. Conservation, environmental sustainability, responsible pet ownership and animal welfare are important issues for ARRC. Recent campaigns include ‘ARRC Spay the Stray Cat’ and ‘ARRC Adopt a Pet Program’.
The Canon grant will enable volunteers to film wildlife rescues and rehabilitation, record methods for controlling the stray cat population and compile material for its Kids Education Programme. It is also planning to use this material for a TV series, which it aims to air in March 2014.