There is an ecologist in the consulting firm that developed the plan, but I don’t think they were aware of the katipo being present. Environmental considerations were largely around dune stabilisation and public use. I contacted them via the council, and they are now aware of the katipo, but because there is not a great deal known about the colony, so I think it is in limbo now until they work out how to proceed. We have an iNatter from the other side of the country that works with the species a great deal (and as far as I am aware, un-permitted!), and I have recommended to the consultants to get in touch with him. i have offered to assist locally here (consultants are in Auckland, very removed from the site!), and I have given the contact details for the scientist/taxonomist/arachnologist that would be best to advise. So they now have contacts to best field experience, best lab experience, and best local knowledge… fingers crossed… :)
You might be amazed at the impact of a Submission by an amateur with an interest in an area, some knowledge (however recently acquired) and esp with any kind of photos. The people making decisions are seldom specialists or even amateur enthusiasts, and I have found they respond really well to input…if you can find the time to prepare it and are willing to stand up in front of them to present it.
and they seldom bite, (The Hearing Committees:)
What about the ethics of chilling insects so they’ll hold still while you take pictures? Does anyone have experience in this area? I only recently heard of this tactic, and, after some research, tried it myself with moths so I could get good, daylight photos. I did have one moth fail to fly away the next morning–it eventually died in the sheltered spot where I left it. I wondered if the chilling had anything to do with it; however, I do know that many moths don’t live long anyway, so it could just be coincidence (all my other moths thus far have flown away after warming up). I have not kept anything in the fridge longer than overnight. I do not want to kill any moths, but if the one death was coincidental, I’d like to continue using this very helpful method!