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Shifting Sands of Time

Brent Barrett | Sep 26, 2011


I would, in a perfect world, be writing every fortnight of exploits into the magical world of kea.  But the earth doesn't really revolve like that does it.  Instead I write from my bed hundreds of miles from wild kea about the outcomes of a very arduous year (for both the Kea and myself).  I am on the cusp of a new adventure (when am I not?) and am putting an end to one chapter while moving rapidly to the start of another.  The Kea project was a resounding success for the three years I was project leader and provided me with great challenges and opportunities.  But we are now entering a stage dictated by economic slide and slow recovery.  Sadly that puts scientists on the "nice to have" list.  There is a very sad stirring of the employment pot in New Zealand during which many great conservation scientists are at best being forced to move to city centres and at worst lose their jobs altogether.  With more capable employees than suitable jobs during a huge conservation budget cut, we are all applying for our own jobs with long term contractors like me being well down the list.  The Kea project continues with varying success but higher up the chain there is much chaos.  So to this end and following various personal difficulties including the recent earthquakes in Christchurch I have left the project to pursue a PhD.  The topic of which is sure to excite you all and has been my dream much of my parrot conscious life.  It will require the most intensive funding drive to achieve but it will be a challenge that will greatly aid our knowledge and preserve our understanding of a very special bird.  But more on that subject next week.

Some Images of my recent return to Codfish Island with the kakapo Team.