A group of Mahoenui giant weta will be the stars of the show at Hamilton Zoo next week for Conservation Week 2012.
The weta, from Mahoenui Reserve south of Te Kuiti, are being loaned to Hamilton Zoo from Department of Conservation and will highlight the zoo’s focus on ‘uncovering backyard treasures’ as part of Conservation Week from 9-16 September.
The public will be able to view the giant weta during talks at 11am and 2pm each day throughout Conservation Week.
Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley said the aim of the talks is to educate the public about how to uncover and care for wildlife such as weta on their own properties.
“When it comes to conservation, people think about the work undertaken in places like national parks, reserves and zoos, however they often don’t consider the wildlife that exists in their own backyards,” he said.
“As well as the birds and insects that you do see around the home, there is potentially a whole range of other creatures living on your property that you don’t see – including many native species such as weta, frogs and bats. Our aim for Conservation Week is to raise awareness of and encourage the conservation of our own ‘backyard treasures’.”
The Council-owned zoo, which is home to the rare and endangered native Hochstetter’s frog species, will also be running a series of after-hours talks for Frog Week from 11-18 September. More details will soon be available on the Hamilton Zoo website www.hamiltonzoo.co.nz.
Conservation Week is run by the Department of Conservation each year to raise awareness of the benefits of conservation and encourage people to get involved.