Sinbad Gully, why it’s worth conserving

Rare and threatened species are often a challenge to take care of but when they’re only known from a single location (so known as a point endemic), and when that site happens to be high up on a rock wall in an alpine mountain range then the job gets significantly harder.

The Sinbad Gully, lying west of Milford Sound may be naturally protected form invasive pest species because of the sheer alpine terrain that surrounds it. Photo James Reardon

The Sinbad Gully, lying west of Milford Sound may be naturally protected form invasive pest species because of the sheer alpine terrain that surrounds it. Photo James Reardon

Fortunately managing the threatened species and ecosystem processes of the Sinbad Gully, which stretches off to the west from the popular tourist site at Milford Sound is a job that now has support form the local community and business such as Southern Discoveries and the Fiordland Conservation Trust.

Despite this support the skinks are still in serious need of our help. Access to the site is expensive and requires helicopter time if we’re needing to take in supplies. Once in the alpine cirque, the issues that challenge conservation of the skinks are by no means easily solved. Whilst we now have some effective tools for the landscape scale management of rats, stoats and possum in lowland forest systems we are only just beginning to understand the pest dynamics that drive the threats to our unique alpine species and ecology. The biggest challenge being that we are starting to realize that the humble mouse, introduced to New Zealand by Europeans, may be the biggest driver of pest impacts above the bush-line and so far, we have no sustainable methods to control their populations in low altitude easily managed sites much less these high alpine environments.  I’ve tried to summarise some of these issues (and got a bit tongue tied in the process) and illustrate the beauty and grandeur of the habitat.

This is a huge challenge for conservationists in New Zealand, but a vital issue for us to tackle to manage these unique and precious places and species. To learn more or help support us follow these links:

SouthernDiscoveries.co.nz
FiordlandConservationTrust.org.nz
DOC.govt.nz

Advertisements

~ by motolorax on July 16, 2013.

One Response to “Sinbad Gully, why it’s worth conserving”

  1. Great video James, and stunning landscape – love the sandflies crawling over the lens! And your filming of those skinks is really spectacular.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: