Friday 31 July was World Ranger Day, celebrating the work rangers do to protect the planet's natural treasures and cultural heritage, and commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.
To celebrate our very own rangers, we ran a Q&A on Instagram and Facebook stories to give you an opportunity to find out more about their important work.
In case you missed it, here are some of the interesting questions you asked them and our rangers' answers, hopefully giving you more insights into their universe.
Q: What do I need to go through to get into a career as a ranger?
Rangers come from a whole variety of backgrounds, some coming with farming experience, others from conservation backgrounds or environmental science experience as well as people with experience in outdoor education and recreation, forestry, and other outdoor industries.
We have a student ranger programme each summer which is a stepping stone for a lot of rangers getting full-time jobs.
Q: Will there be a summer ranger programme this summer?
We're unable to answer this currently but we are preparing as though there is going to be a summer ranger programme.
The best thing to do if interested is to keep an eye on the Auckland Council careers page in August. If we are having one then the jobs will be listed there.
Q: What does your average day involve?
We cover a wide range of tasks on park, general maintenance of fences, tracks, signs and other parts of the park. We do a lot of conservation work, monitoring and trapping for animal pests as well as monitoring bird species in some areas. We work a lot with local communities and volunteers organising planting days, welcoming and educating school and corporate groups which come to visit and volunteer.
Many of the parks are operational farms where rangers look after the livestock. It is currently lambing season so we are out there checking the health of the ewes and lambs making sure they have the best start they can. During summer a lot of time is spent interacting with visitors to the parks, occasionally having to resolve issues or inform people of the rules on park.
We also manage and maintain the campgrounds and baches around the parks which people book in on to have longer stays in the park.
Q: How can people get more involved in parks?
We have volunteer days in our parks regularly and have community or volunteer groups come in to assist with a wide range of tasks.
If you are interested the first step would be to find your nearest regional park and get in touch with Auckland Council to find out which volunteer groups work in that park.
Q: If I find an injured animal in the parks, who do I contact?
Give it space, don’t touch it and call our call centre on 09 301 0101 and ask for parks, they will put you in touch with the correct Ranger for that location.
Q: If the cleaning stations for Kauri dieback in the Waitākere ranges ran out of product, how can I let you know?
If you are in the Waitākere ranges you can visit or contact our Visitor Centre at 300 Scenic Drive Nihotupu, Waitākere 0604 or call on 09 817 0077.
Q: What is the best place for me to find out if I can take my dog to the park?
On the Auckland Council Website, our regional parks page lets you know where you can and can't take your furry friend.
Q: What inspires you in your role?
Creating a safe place for the public to enjoy nature at the same time working towards conserving and protecting the environment.
Q: What’s the weirdest day you’ve had as a ranger?
Aimee said: There have been a few but I think having a pet office rabbit for a week was pretty strange after catching it on the parkland and finding out the owners were on holiday in Europe for the rest of the week made admin a bit weird.
Q: How can we find out more about the kauri related closures and progress on reopening pls?
Head onto the Auckland Council Website protect our Kauri page. Then select your area of choice and you'll see a list of opened and closed tracks, as well as some information on what we're doing.
Q: What’s the most unique animal in any parks?
This is a hard one! In the regional parks, we have critically endangered species such as kōkako, little spotted kiwi, takahē, hihi (stitchbird) and tīeke (saddleback) as well as many other endangered species of birds. Dolphins and seals are also often seen around the parks as well as endangered gecko and skink species. Click here for two unique animals due to their cheeky behaviour.
Q: What aren’t they any rangers in Tōtara park?
Tōtara park is a local park and has a ranger responsible for it who is also responsible for other local parks and reserves in the area. Regional parks will have a ranger on-site almost every day and local parks will only have infrequent visiting rangers generally.
Q: Where are the most beautiful & unknown park/open spaces in Auckland?
The most beautiful and unknown spaces in regional parks are on the edges of the Auckland area such as Āwhitu in the south, Whatipū in the West, Whakanewha in the East and Ātiu Creek in the north. All regional parks have their own unique beauty and quiet places to enjoy the outdoors.
Our parks in numbers:
- Auckland has 27 regional parks across the region
- Auckland parks cover over 52,000 hectares which is 10.7 per cent of the region
- Our regional parks are looked after by 78 rangers
- 350 volunteer groups spending 180,000 hours giving of their time in regional parks, local parks and Auckland Botanic Gardens
- Regional parks also have close to over 100 accommodation options for people to stay in a regional park. Baches, campgrounds, glamping, motorhome parks are all options to allow people to enjoy the regional parks.