Discovering New Zealand’s Newest Dark Sky Reserve

The stars have long held a special resonance within Māori culture. Now, the plight of a small seabird has triggered Kaikōura to seek dark sky status – and the results are awe-inspiring, finds The Independent’s Joanna Whitehead.

“Through conservation efforts, local naturalists realised that artificial light was threatening the survival of the Hutton’s Shearwater, with fledglings disorientated on their maiden flight to the sea. As a consequence, a movement was established that not only focuses on the welfare of the birds but also inspires awareness and appreciation of the night sky,” Whitehead reports.

“Thanks to the commitment of a small group of individuals, Kaikōura is now well on its way to achieving dark sky sanctuary status, a designation bestowed by the Arizona-based organisation Dark Sky International (DSI), the global authority on dark sky regions around the globe.”

Original article by Joanna Whitehead, The Independent, December 20, 2023.

Tags: Dark Sky Reserve  Independent (The)  Kaikoura  

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