Photo competition winning Piwauwau by Suzi Phillips (Some rights reserved)
The 'Climate and I' photo competition drew some great entries -- and we have a winner - or in fact - two.
The winning photographer is Suzi Phillips from Auckland who sent us the fantastic image of a Piwauwau (Rock Wren). Our photographic panel picked Suzi's photograph because it was a great photo but also because it gives simple but powerful reminder of how man made climate change effects the great web of life in unexpected ways.
The piwauwau is a rare and ancient, tailless bird species found only in the South Island mountain ranges. It has recently been added to the list of globally threatened birds. It could very well become extinct as the warming climate lets predators, like rats, live in higher altitudes. (There's more info on the Forest & Bird website).
In Suzi's words ...
Many of New Zealand's native and endemic birds will suffer range contraction and the threat of extinction from the effects of climate change. The Rock Wren is one of those at high risk of extinction from the effects of climate change.
Rock Wren are a rare, endemic New Zealand bird, that is confined to alpine habitat. Climate change is predicted to increase land temperatures and the concern is that this will eventually result in a higher alpine tree line and a greater threat from mammalian pests. Rock Wren have no-where to go, as their habitat will reduce and disappear. These birds will also become increasingly threatened by prey such as stoats and rats as these pests are able to penetrate higher into alpine habitat for longer, due to the warmer temperatures.
Unfortunately for Suzi she is unable to make it to Lyttelton to claim her first prize trip aboard the Rainbow Warrior but Suzi's misfortune is Ansonia Steeg's good fortune. Antonia is the runner up and she is most definitleyable to make it aboard the ship when it leaves Lyttelton.
Runner up in the ‘Climate and I’ photo competition dry landscape by Antonia Steeg (Some rights reserved).
Antonia's photo got second place in the competition and when we asked her whether she'd like to come aboard she said:
Oh wow, that is just amazing!!
I am rather speechless to be honest!!
Well, yes I would love to do this trip aboard the Rainbow Warrior.....wow, I
still can't believe it....this has always been a dream of mine.
I am absolutely overwhelmed!!
Thank you so much!!!
We'll take that as a yes.
Antonia's photo clearly depicts some of the effects that the changing climate is already having on the New Zealand environment.
Here's a slide show of all entries in the competition: