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Minister joins expedition to Subantarctic Islands

Hon Kate Wilkinson

Minister of Conservation

6 December 2010

Media Statement

Minister joins expedition to Subantarctic Islands

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson will accompany a research team to New Zealand’s remote Subantarctic Islands today as part of the joint Navy and Department of Conservation expedition, Operation Endurance.

The expedition involves a team of 14 researchers who will look into the recovery of the islands since the removal of sheep and rats and measure the benefits of previous conservation work.

“The sub-Antarctic Islands are conservation jewels and it’s important we have all the information we can to make better decisions on how to preserve the fragile values and natural capital of these amazing places,” says Ms Wilkinson.

“The islands themselves are all National Nature Reserves and have World Heritage status.

“Options are currently being worked through to protect the surrounding marine areas too and I’m excited to be able to personally visit this remarkable area.”

The expedition will first land at Campbell Island – timed to coincide with the bicentennial of the discovery of the island by Captain Frederick Hasselburgh in the sealing vessel the Perseverance in 1810.

It will also call in at Enderby Island in the Auckland Islands, 300km to the north, to look at a variety of Subantarctic wildlife including penguins and albatross and meet up with a DOC sea lion research team.

The Minister will be joining the Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife Lady Susan Satyanand, as well as 3 students and a teacher selected by the Royal Society for their enthusiasm and interest to experience these unique islands.

The expedition returns on Sunday 12 December.

ENDS

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