Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

About Ahi Pepe | MothNet

Ahi Pepe | MothNet is a citizen science project that aims to engage teachers, students and whānau with moths, and through moths with nature and science.

Over the summer of 2017/18, with funding from Unlocking Curious Minds, Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, and Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research we  produced the North Island series of the Puka Whakamārama o Te Pepe Nui - Beginners' Guide to the Macro Moths, expanding our Te Reo Māori science resources. Schools from across Aotearoa (North, South and Stewart Island) are now included in our Great Moth Experiment.

Ahi Pepe | MothNet  started in late 2015 with a Participatory Science Platform project and four Otago schools. From this pilot study we produced the Beginners' Guide to the Otago Macro Moths - available online.

In 2016, we expanded across the South Island with funding from Unlocking Curious Minds. This allowed us to produce the South Island series of the Puka Whakamārama o Te Pepe Nui - Beginners' Guide to the Macro Moths and expand our science experiment to include 14 schools.

In July 2017, we presented  "Science through an Indigenous Lens - a Moth Study" at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education in Toronto, funded through Givealittle, selling NZ moth Badges, and our Aihuka Art Auction.

Most of our moths are found nowhere else as New Zealand moths have one of the highest rates of endemism for any taxonomic group anywhere in the world. There are over 2000 species of moths and butterflies in New Zealand and they play an important role in the ecosystem as pollinators, and food for our native birds, insects, spiders and reptiles. Ahi Pepe | MothNet and all our project partners,  participating schools and champions are working to find out how New Zealand's native moths are getting on, where they are, and how their distributions relate to the natural and changing environment of New Zealand.

Participating schools

Meet the team

Moths and the environment

In the news

Aihuka Art Auction

This glorious celebration of art explores kaitiakitaka – stewardship and sustainability, The Otago Museum, Ahi Pepe | MothNet and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti (a small Māori immersion school just outside Dunedin), raised funds through the auction to send students from the school to the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE). The students presented “Science through an indigenous lens – a moth study”. This was a presentation of the work they undertook as part of the Ahi Pepe | Mothnet project.