The islands of the Marlborough Sounds have a vital role in the conservation of New Zealand’s natural heritage. Our islands are home to many of the country’s rarest native animal and plant species. Almost all have remained free or have been cleared of the introduced pests that have wrecked havoc on native animals and habitats on the mainland. Without pest-free islands providing safe havens, many more species would now be extinct.
The Marlborough Sounds has two of New Zealand highest ranked ecological treasures – Takapourewa/Stephens Island and Te Pakeka/Maud Island. Both of these islands are closed to the public to preserve their ecological values.
However, we do have some islands that are open and accessible to the public: Blumine and Motuara islands, in Queen Charlotte Sound, are home to a number of endangered species such as kakariki, robin, saddleback, mohua and kiwi. It’s well worth camping at the Blumine campground to hear the impressive dawn chorus.
Your help is essential in ensuring island sanctuaries remain pest-free and safe for our native species. You can play your part in protecting the islands with the following actions:
Before leaving for the island:
- Rats and mice can hide away on boats and get onto islands, even if they are moored off the island. Lay rat poison or set traps on your boat and check regularly
- Check all bags, containers and gear to ensure they do not harbour insects or weed seeds
- Scrub your footwear and check socks and pockets for weed seeds
On the island:
- Only land on islands open to the public
- Only land at designated landing sites
- Leave your dog (or cat!) on the boat
- Do not light any fires
- Take all rubbish way with you.
With thanks to Wendy Sullivan from Department of Conservation, Picton.
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