Pete is Project Janszoon’s founding ornithologist and has been the person behind our first native bird re-introductions. He is pretty knowledgeable about lizards, tuatara, frogs and forest habitats as well.
His love of all things avian began when he started working with the Ecology Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research back in the 70s. His first job was managing the development of an atlas of bird distribution in New Zealand and he spent a lot of time liaising with bird watchers and ecologists who imparted much of their knowledge.
Research into birds living in stands of radiata pine forests brought him to Nelson in 1980. In the late 80s he was involved in campaigning for the formation of the Department of Conservation and he jumped ship to work for DOC in 1988. It was around that time that new predator eradication techniques were being developed for islands and he spent a lot of time in the Marlborough Sounds.
Pete says while eradicating rats and translocating species back onto islands was rewarding it was somewhat guaranteed and his work with Project Janszoon on the mainland will be a lot more challenging. He is up for the challenge though and loves the fact the project is breaking new ground in terms of scale.
Pete also works in the Sounds assisting with the ecological restoration of privately owned Puangiangi Island.