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Island biodiversity to be celebrated at Dunedin talk

Rat-free Wharekakahu Island, east of Allans Beach on Otago Peninsula, a nature reserve that is home to fairy prions, Lepidium crassum and Stewart Island shags. Photo: John Barkla

Media release

Date: 16 May 2014

Island biodiversity to be celebrated at Dunedin talk

Opportunities and challenges that islands offer as sites to protect our natural heritage will be discussed at an event to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity, which has the theme of island biodiversity.

The public are invited by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to hear local speakers at a panel discussion at the Portobello Hall this Saturday, May 24th.

Young children will be entertained with conservation activities and a light lunch will be provided. After lunch there will be a boat trip to Quarantine Island to plant trees and celebrate the scenery and biodiversity of Dunedin’s closest island. Anyone wanting to attend can RSVP Karen Connor at kconnor@doc.govt.nz

Date: Saturday 24 May 2014
Time: 10am-3pm
Location: Portobello Hall
Cost: $10.00 per person or $20 per family


Background on speakers at the event

Hoani Langsbury – Otago Peninsula resident who is involved in wildlife ecotourism and has knowledge about the special values of Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head.

Peter Matheson – President of the St Martin Island community on Quarantine Island, an historian and theologian.

Moira Parker – member of STOP (Save the Otago Peninsula) who has knowledge on the management of invasive species and the importance of preventing them establishing in new places.

Graeme Loh – A DOC ranger who has contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation in Coastal Otago.

Conservation activities will be provided for children by Tiff Stewart, co-ordinator of the Dunedin Kiwi Conservation Club.

DOC ranger John Barkla will be on hand on the island to answer botanical questions and DOC ranger Jim Fyfe will discuss marine values of Otago Harbour.

Background on island biodiversity

DOC works to protect the biodiversity on hundreds of islands across New Zealand. Our islands are homes to many of the New Zealand’s rarest native animal and plant species.

DOC works to remove predators from our islands to protect our endangered species. Currently 261 of New Zealand’s 735 islands (larger than one hectare) are pest free (free of introduced mammalian pests).

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