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Proposed Torlesse Conservation Park

Thursday 5 April 2001

The Royal Forest Bird Protection Society is delighted by Conservation Minister, Sandra Lee's intention to establish a conservation park on Canterbury's Torlesse Range.

"The Torlesse park would better protect a well studied and the most accessible location of rock and scree flora and fauna in the eastern South Island high country," field officer, Eugenie Sage said.

"There was strong public support for a Torlesse conservation park when Forest and Bird first proposed it in 1991. This came from trampers, walkers, botanists and other scientists. The public submissions process is an excellent opportunity for people to endorse the concept formally.

"The Nature Heritage Fund is also to be congratulated for its strategic purchases of key areas on the Benmore Range. This has enlarged the original park proposal and added some very valuable areas of shrubland and tussockland to the conservation estate," she said.

"The scree slopes of the Torlesse area support a range of unusual plants well adapted to the harsh climate, unstable conditions and temperature extremes. Several have a limited distribution such as Haast's scree buttercup, penwiper, and scree lobelia.

Barry Weeber Senior Researcher Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society PO Box 631 Wellington New Zealand Phone 64-4-385-7374 Fax 64-4-385-7373

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