Information & resources on frog conservation.

Dr Tony Steer

TS with Gecko-174Tony's scientific background is ‘unconventional’ in that his work experience and formal education is principally aviation science and systems engineering based. It has included academic and scientific research and development within universities, central government agencies, and commercial industry. He has combined principal investigator and project manager roles encompassing collaborative research activities across diverse disciplines. Modelling and simulation has been a common theme in the analysis of systems, their interdependencies and identifying the root causes of complex problems.
Since moving to New Zealand from the UK in late 2005 he has been fortunate to be able to integrate his life-time interest with the environment, wildlife and sustainability with his career and professional development. In 2013 he graduated with a Master of Energy with first class honours from Auckland University, majoring in environmental resource management. He has built personal working relationships with regional councils, community volunteer groups, DOC, academia, Crown Research Institutes, Predator Free New Zealand and many others in the ecology community.


Tony's outside interests are driven by his passion for the natural environment, particularly restoring and protecting New Zealand’s unique ecosystems and biological heritage. He has initiated and is actively involved in a number of community ecological restoration programmes and regularly participate at restoration workshops and conferences, advocating particularly for Citizen Science and community based conservation. Major activities have included:
  • Motuihe Island Restoration. Steering committee member and active conservation volunteer. Invasive weed identification, removal and control, tree species selection and reforestation, track maintenance and assistance with species translocations over five years.
  • Harry Dreadon Ecological Restoration. Project initiator, designer and co-ordinator utilising both internal and external funding. Community based programme seeking to restore and re-connect native forest fragments across multiple properties. A native plant nursery, active mammalian pest control and reforestation programmes form important elements of the project.
More recently he has taken on the role of Biodiversity Assets Manager for Mahakirau Forest Estate. This is an incorporated society responsible for the protection of over 580 hectares of privately owned QE covenanted prime bush in the Coromandel ranges. The estate is extremely fortunate to have a number of threatened species such as: Archey’s and Hochstetter’s frogs and Coromandel striped geckos resident on the estate and Tony has initiated survey and monitoring programmes. He is also a keen amateur entomologist and has started a ‘reference’ collection for the estate and the Coromandel region, initially focussing on Lepidoptera and Coleoptera but with plans to include all insects as the collection grows.

20151025 141324 002 resized-227Future plans

Tony was recently appointed as an honorary research fellow within the Department of Zoology and he views this as a great opportunity to contribute directly to frog conservation with a fantastic team of like-minded herpetologists!