Ahi Pepe | MothNet
Ahi means fire and Pepe means moth, which literally translated means the “moth fire”. This references a whakataukī (proverb) by Te Whiti o Rongomai about the light of a fire attracting moths.
Moths are underappreciated but essential and highly responsive parts of our ecosystem. Ahi Pepe | MothNet aims to engage the public and raise the appreciation of moths and explore their potential to act as ecological indicators of the health and connectedness of our natural world.
The project aims to connect primary school children with mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) and science through moths and by doing this, help them gain a better understanding of how the ecological world is made up of a network of connections and links.
MothNet champions learn all about New Zealand Native moths and their role in the ecosystem and how their distributions relate to the environment. In the process they contribute to the knowledge and understanding of moth distributions in New Zealand.
A core component of the project is a series of moth guides written in Te Reo Māori that focus on five whakataukī about moths and their life cycles.
Ahi Pepe MothNet, a collaboration between Landcare Research, The University of Otago, Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is supported by the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund, the Biological Heritage Challenge and lots of co-funding from our project partners and participating schools.
- Barbara Anderson — leads the MothNet project, and is a quantitative ecologist Landcare Research
- Robert Hoare — invertebrate systematist specialising in Lepidopteran (moths and butterflies), Landcare Research
- Ralf Ohlemüller — researches climate change, biogeography and habitat fragmentation, University of Otago
- Tangiwai Rewi — lecturer at Te Tumu, the School of Māori, Pacific & Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago
- Victoria Campbell — leads the development of the immersion Te Reo resource
- Tiahuia Kawe Small — Principal at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ōtepoti
- Tahu MacKenzie & team — Educator at Orokonui Ecosanctuary
- Janice Lord — plant evolutionary biologist, University of Otago
- Max Buxton — MSc student at the Botany Department, University of Otago
- Sean Gilles — graphic designer, illustrator and mixed media artist currently studying at Otago Polytechnic
- Steff Barak — investigating the effects of artificial light on nocturnal Lepidoptera