Science and environment

Australia fires: Ancient pine grove saved in secret operation

A covert firefighting operation saved an ancient grove of pine trees that were under threat due to the bushfires currently raging in Australia.   The Wollemi Pine grove near Sydney was discovered by scientists in 1994 is thought to have stood tall among dinosaurs around 200 million years ago.   It's location is top secret, so the mission to save it was too.   New South Wales environment minister Matt Kean speaks to Kim Savage.

Australia fires: Ancient pine grove saved in secret operation
0:00 / 4:40
Science and environment

Forward planning for recycling plastic

Five councils around New Zealand have now stopping taking two thirds of plastic types for recycling as there is nowhere to send them.   Type 3 to 7 plastics cannot be recycled in New Zealand, but many other councils including Auckland and Wellington are still taking them.   At the end of 2017 China banned the import of 24 grades of waste including household plastics and mixed paper. Since then New Zealand has been sending plastic waste to South East Asia, but now Malaysia is also banning imports of non-recyclable plastics.   The Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard released a report into plastics in December, Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, which found 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced globally since the 1950s, of which 79 percent has gone to landfill or been discarded into the environment.   Professor Gerrard explains just what is able to recycled.

Forward planning for recycling plastic
0:00 / 10:48
Science and environment

Kauri dieback trespassers endangering recovery for Kauri

Kauri dieback secretary Mels Barton talks about why its so disappointing and detrimental to fighting kauri dieback when people access closed tracks around Auckland.

Kauri dieback trespassers endangering recovery for Kauri
0:00 / 6:49
Science and environment

Protecting wildlife on the Ashley-Rakahuri river

Interest groups that are often at loggerheads when it comes to conserving waterways in many parts of the country, have forged a strong working relationship as members of the Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group.   This precious braided river near Rangiora was in a bad way and declining 20 years ago, before the group joined forces with local councils and the Department of Conservation to take action.   The volunteers are successfully protecting wildlife like the nationally critical black-billed gulls, and nationally vulnerable wrybills and banded dotterels - while still allowing gravel extraction and 4WDs in the area.    

Protecting wildlife on the Ashley-Rakahuri river
0:00 / 20:11
Science and environment

Kiwi volunteers helping Australian animals after fires

The devastating fires in Australia continue to burn, and much of the attention has been on the terrible impact it's had on the country's animals. Millions have died in the fires, including native beasts - and there are fears some will never recover and may even become extinct, like the Kangaroo Island dunnart, a small mouse-sized mammal. Volunteers from New Zealand have flown over to help with the recovery, including Animal Evac New Zealand, which specialises in animal evacuation in disaster situations. SAFE - the animal rights charity, helped them get there. The trust was founded by Steve Glassey former chief executive of Wellington SPCA.

Kiwi volunteers helping Australian animals after fires
0:00 / 18:16
Science and environment

Excavating human remains from the middle ages in Uzbekistan

Rebecca Kinaston from the University of Otago travelled to Uzbekistan to study human remains from the backyards of local villages. The excavations were part of a study into how people lived in the Middle Ages. The region has a long history of human settlement and was part of the Silk Road, a medieval trade route between Europe and Asia.    

Excavating human remains from the middle ages in Uzbekistan
0:00 / 17:03

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