Banded dotterel, Rakiura. Photo - James T Reardon

Kev Carter - Manager Operations and Research

I am dedicated to doing my best for our natural world and I love big picture thinking. Those two things come together for me in Predator Free Rakiura.

Kev CarterRakiura is a special place filled with unique forms of life which, in many cases, are found nowhere else. The island presents us with a great opportunity to build on the conservation values already here. When I stand on top of the island’s hills and look out over the surrounding vista I get a real sense of wilderness, which feels untouched. Forests extend from the bush-line right down to the water’s edge. Pristine rivers snake through large and unmodified wetland complexes. The alpine tops have an abundance of unique invertebrate, reptile and plant species. Some of the largest natural dune systems in the world adorn the west coast. Rakiura is world renowned for its seaweed diversity and some areas are home to rare black coral. There is so much opportunity for nature here.

When I think about the fact that Rakiura has a smaller range of pest species than mainland Aotearoa I get incredibly motivated to help this place get one step closer to a pristine sanctuary. A haven for threatened species and a bolstered stronghold of wild places where nature rules supreme.

I strongly believe that we need places like that, not just because of our moral responsibility to protect our home but also because our own future depends so heavily on doing just that. The environment underpins everything.

I’ve worked in conservation for over 12 years after completing a degree in Biology. This work has taken me across the country including time in South Westland, Waikato, Coromandel and Nelson. The first half of this time was out in the field as a ranger delivering threatened species work including with kiwi, Archey’s and Hochstetter’s frog, rare plants and more. I’ve also worked in both mainland and island biosecurity and predator suppression projects including trapping using a variety of types and bait station work. The second half of my time in conservation has been here on Rakiura working to protect our forests, pest-free islands, coastal environments, and threatened species like the critically endangered Southern New Zealand Dotterel/Tūturiwhatu.

I feel privileged to join the Predator Free Rakiura team and bring together my passion for this island, what I’ve learnt so far and what I’ll be learning from others.

As a Rakiura local I know how important this place is for all of us. I’m surrounded by my fantastic family, my wife Bridget, our daughter Quinn, a rambunctious Labrador called Dusky and a bunch of chooks out back. The island has a way of capturing some people. My family know we all belong to this place.

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