The oi and the koura

Focus of programme is ecosanctuary’s koura restoration project.

Focus of programme is ecosanctuary’s koura restoration project.

Before embarking today on the second, innovative Wild Lab programme at the Longbush ecosanctuary, Jarratt Create and Educate co-founder Peter Jarratt donned a koura (crayfish) costume created by partner Ellen and hit town. Joined by Bo Jarratt in an oi (muttonbird) costume worn by Liz Cutts in the inaugural January Wild Lab, the duo and entourage dropped into various venues around the city centre. Today’s Wild Lab programme is centred on Longbush’s koura restoration project. Young ecologists are exploring “the power of the koura”. Picture by Liam Clayton

SHOPPERS were surprised yesterday to see an oi (muttonbird) and koura (crayfish) enjoying a glass of fresh water at a cafe, cutting hair at a salon, buying souvenirs and strolling through the library.

Kitted in oi and koura costumes made by Ellen Jarratt, the pair tested their wings, claws and segmented legs in public before Jarratt Create and Educate founders Mr Jarratt and partner Ellen Jarratt ran a Wild Lab programme today at the Longbush ecosanctuary.

The focus of the programme is the ecosanctuary’s koura restoration project.

Initiated by Dame Anne Salmond and husband Jeremy, Longbush reserve is home to a healthy stream after four years of restoration.

The aim of the Jarratts partnership with the Longbush Ecological Trust is to build a community of young artist-scientists, using curiosity to explore Longbush and other environments.

“Imagine if you could talk to nature”, is the idea behind the costumed actors, who have comprehensively researched their subject to field questions and interact, in character, with the young ecologists.

Mr and Mrs Jarratt consulted with Nga Mahi Te Taiao freshwater research consultant Murray Palmer about the koura (freshwater crayfish).

“Our Wild Lab kids will go through a series of challenges to learn the power of the koura,” said the man-size freshwater cray otherwise known as Peter Jarratt.

“The idea behind that is they learn about koura so they become part of its ecology in the future. We will do this through creative challenges.”

Mr Palmer’s involvement brings ancestral and scientific knowledge to the programme, he said.

“With every restoration project we will link in something like this.”

The inaugural Wild Lab programme in January focused on the oi.

Also known as the titi, muttonbird, sooty shearwater or grey-faced petrel, the oi were introduced to a hilltop at Longbush in 2012.

This world-first was achieved by the Ecoworks NZ team.

SHOPPERS were surprised yesterday to see an oi (muttonbird) and koura (crayfish) enjoying a glass of fresh water at a cafe, cutting hair at a salon, buying souvenirs and strolling through the library.

Kitted in oi and koura costumes made by Ellen Jarratt, the pair tested their wings, claws and segmented legs in public before Jarratt Create and Educate founders Mr Jarratt and partner Ellen Jarratt ran a Wild Lab programme today at the Longbush ecosanctuary.

The focus of the programme is the ecosanctuary’s koura restoration project.

Initiated by Dame Anne Salmond and husband Jeremy, Longbush reserve is home to a healthy stream after four years of restoration.

The aim of the Jarratts partnership with the Longbush Ecological Trust is to build a community of young artist-scientists, using curiosity to explore Longbush and other environments.

“Imagine if you could talk to nature”, is the idea behind the costumed actors, who have comprehensively researched their subject to field questions and interact, in character, with the young ecologists.

Mr and Mrs Jarratt consulted with Nga Mahi Te Taiao freshwater research consultant Murray Palmer about the koura (freshwater crayfish).

“Our Wild Lab kids will go through a series of challenges to learn the power of the koura,” said the man-size freshwater cray otherwise known as Peter Jarratt.

“The idea behind that is they learn about koura so they become part of its ecology in the future. We will do this through creative challenges.”

Mr Palmer’s involvement brings ancestral and scientific knowledge to the programme, he said.

“With every restoration project we will link in something like this.”

The inaugural Wild Lab programme in January focused on the oi.

Also known as the titi, muttonbird, sooty shearwater or grey-faced petrel, the oi were introduced to a hilltop at Longbush in 2012.

This world-first was achieved by the Ecoworks NZ team.

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