DOC’s East Coast Operations Manager, John Lucas, is proud of the work his team of skilled rangers undertake for conservation.
“The day-to-day work of our rangers ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy nature in our public conservation areas and appreciate our unique plants and animals,” he says.
Experienced local Biodiversity Ranger Jamie Quirk says no one day is the same, which is the exciting part of being a ranger.
“I can arrive at work and receive a call to go and rescue a seal that has been harassed by a dog on the beach, or respond to a public enquiry about the sighting of a whale.”
“The work is varied, challenging and rewarding. But, at times sad too, like when you do everything possible to save a native bird but it doesn’t pull through,” says Jamie.
Jamie considers a willingness to learn and ability to adapt to be critical attributes for anyone looking to become a ranger.
He says, “The role of a ranger is ideal for anyone who enjoys working with people.”
Earlier this year, Jamie had a career highlight when the Whinray Ecological Charitable Trust recognised his longstanding dedication to conservation by naming a kiwi after him - they named it “Quirky!"
Jamie says, “That was a real honour. It’s a strong motivator to continue being part of DOC’s work to make New Zealand safe for Quirky’s kin.”
Rangers such as Jamie undertake a wide range of specialist tasks: monitoring birds on off-shore islands, diving to detect underwater weeds, monitoring marine-life and protecting marine mammals.
They also work on challenging terrain and in remote areas dealing with threats such as pests, predators and weeds; or fires on public conservation land. Working in a team environment with dedicated people makes the work satisfying and interesting.
Rangers work closely with iwi, community conservation groups, volunteers, local government, neighbouring landowners and schools to achieve conservation gains and promote awareness and advocacy.
DOC employs over 1,000 Rangers nationwide who are experts in many areas.
- World Ranger Day was first observed in 2007 by the International Ranger Federation. It's a chance to celebrate our hard-working rangers, and remember former rangers.
- For anyone interested in learning more about becoming a ranger, DOC offers a range of roles as well as opportunities for volunteering and summer internships. A trainee ranger programme is also offered by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. The skills of rangers are sought after by Councils, Iwi, private companies and others.