Friends of Galapagos New Zealand - 

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July 2014
Catching the White-vented Storm Petrel 
Hola All Friends of Galapagos NZ
The project to discover the breeding grounds of the White-vented Storm petrel is now in full swing and Karen has posted another blog which makes for captivating reading (obvious pun but irresistible). 

Photo of colour banded bird
One of the key members of the team is Francesca Cunninghame (Franny) a Kiwi who works with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). CDF has kindly allowed Franny time to take part in the WVSP project. Franny's name often pops up in articles and news items on Galapagos with the work she undertakes there and we post these on our website and facebook page as they occur. Franny has a had a varied conservation background both in New Zealand and overseas - find out more below:
Franny and Karen processing a petrel with
a seal lion keeping an eye on proceedings.
Francesca was born and raised in Dunedin where she developed a keen interest in nature and conservation. Since her teenage years she has been involved in projects with Birds New Zealand (aka Ornithological Society of NZ) and the Department of Conservation (DOC). What began as an interest and many enjoyable hours and informative volunteering progressed into employment.
After and whilst completing a post graduate Diploma of Wildlife Management and Masters in Zoology at Otago University Francesca worked on a  variety of DOC contracts which included work with Grand and Otago skinks, mohua, orange fronted kakariki, weka and kea. Spanish was learnt during a school exchange to Colombia in 1999 and this with a year volunteering with bird projects in South America in 2007 helped prepare her for her current job leading the Mangrove Finch Project at the Charles Darwin Foundation, in collaboration with the Galapagos National Park Directorate. (FOGNZ has posted items on its website and facebook page about some of this work with the mangrove finch). In addition to working with the finches Francesca helps out with a range of bird work on the islands including Galapagos hawks, short eared owls and is currently helping with the White-vented Storm petrel project with Chris and Karen funded by FOGNZ with its supporters and donors.
“The storm petrel work is incredibly exciting; to have a fairly abundant inshore species whose breeding area is still unknown presents a real opportunity to determine more about the species and its conservation needs and its inspiring to be working alongside experts from home”. Francesca hopes to continue with the mangrove finches during the next breeding season before returning to NZ to continue her conservation work closer to home.
Photo of Franny, Karen & Tui (Patron of FOGNZ) with Diego & Junior in the back, Xavier in the front.
International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) was one of three organisations along with the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund that provided grants to FOGNZ that helped enable the WVSP project. Volunteer Service Abroad were key in facilitating a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade so that Chris and Karen were able to travel to Galapagos to undertake the project. IGTOA are featured here explaining their efforts to aid conservation in Galapagos. 
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Many of you would have heard about the story about murder and mystery on Floreana that took place in the 1930's -  it is now a movie showing at the New Zealand Film Festival  in Auckland and Wellington. Check out the details here
Photos - with the exception of The Galapagos Affair - by Chris Gaskin
Copyright © 2014 Friends of Galapagos New Zealand, All rights reserved.

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