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New Marlborourgh Sounds’ island sanctuary

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

12 May 2008 Media Release

New Marlborourgh Sounds’ island sanctuary

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick today announced a new Marlborough Sounds’ island native wildlife sanctuary.

“It is fantastic that Blumine Island, in Queen Charlotte Sound, is now predator-free,” Steve Chadwick said.

Blumine Island has been confirmed predator-free, with no sign of mice or stoats following a 2005 DOC rodent eradication operation and stoat trapping.

“The sanctuary is the result of a partnership between Untouched World, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and other commercial and educational organisations, and I congratulate everyone involved for their dedication.

“The island will have an important role in sustaining endangered native wildlife and species, such as robins, tieke (South Island saddleback), kakariki and kiwi which can now be located there. It also has educational benefits, with young people using it as an outdoor classroom, learning conservation and outdoor skills.

“The partnership between Untouched World, DOC and others has resulted in week-long educational programmes on the island for secondary school students. The students contribute to restoration work, through activities such as monitoring of wildlife and plants, and trap maintenance.

“Blumine Island is open to the public and easily accessed from Picton. I expect it’s popularity as a visitor destination will increase as its bush and wildlife regenerates. It also has historical interest as a former World War Two military base with gun emplacements and other installations from that time.”

Tui, bellbirds, fantails and kereru are among the native species currently found on Blumine Island, and it has a unique giant snail species, Powelliphanta hochstetteri bicolour. Removal of predators paves the way for more native wildlife to be located there.

“I thank all those involved in supporting the educational programmes and the island’s restoration: the Untouched World Charitable Trust, the Community Trust, Cockram Nissan, Canterbury University’s College of Education and DOC.

“It is wonderful to see another part our natural environment being restored, promoting the growth of native species, and ensuring a sustainable New Zealand for us all to enjoy for many years to come.”


ENDS

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