island-conservation-james-russell-stewart-island-feat

Life at the Southern Limits of New Zealand

James Russell visits Stewart Island to find out how people feel about the proposed efforts to remove invasive predators.

By: James Russell

Rakiura/Stewart Island is the southernmost inhabited point of New Zealand. Here, islanders carve out an existence for themselves among the harsh but beautiful environment. I was visiting to understand how the community feels about proposals to eradicate introduced mammalian predators from the entirety of the island – Predator Free Rakiura. The eradication of pests such as these mammals can have as many social impacts as it does environmental impacts.

island-conservation-rakiura-stewart-island

The township of Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island. Credit: James Russell

Invasive feral cats, rats and possums, and a handful of hedgehogs are the only mammalian predators on Rakiura. The absence of mustelids such as stoats is immediately recognizable through the abundance of Kākā, one of the large native parrots of New Zealand. One Kākā does the rounds of my hotel room each night arriving precisely at 5pm to demand tribute.

island-conservation-kaka

Local Kākā doing the hotel rounds. Credit: James Russell

The eradication of the invasive mammalian predators from Rakiura is an ambitious proposal to allow the wholesale restoration of the island, protecting the species already on the island, and potentially allowing the reintroduction of others such as the Kākāpō, recently lost from Rakiura and now confined to the remote offshore output of Whenua Hou/Codfish Island. We have time to visit nearby Ulva Island and observe the abundance of birds present after the eradication of rats from the island.

island-conservation-ulva-island

New Zealand endemic birds of Ulva Island: Kereru, Toutouwai, Miromiro, Tui. Credit: James Russell

My time on Rakiura does not seem long enough; the woes of Auckland’s traffic and airport are far away indeed from here as I sit in the hotel overlooking the waterfront. However, I am confident leaving the welcoming community to take forward the proposal of a Predator Free Rakiura and determining how this would work best for them.

Featured Photo: Kākā on Stewart Island. Credit: Rodney Farrant
This article was originally printed in National Geographic

About James Russell

Conservation biologist Dr. James Russell works throughout the world on remote islands and other sites to provide conservation solutions by applying a combination of scientific methods. Based out of Auckland, New Zealand, from 2015 to 2017 he is also working on a Scientist without Frontiers programme in Brazil.

View All Posts

Follow Island Conservation on Social Media

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

[ism-social-followers list='fb,tw,li,youtube,instagram' template='ism_template_sf_1' list_align='horizontal' display_counts='false' display_full_name='true' box_align='center' ]

Midway Atoll conservation

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this:
Send this to a friend

potassium pills and weight loss side effects weight loss supplements which weight loss pills actually work best weight loss results exercise and pills weight loss pills drug test average weekly weight loss on a low carb diet fastest working weight loss pill do apple cider pills help with weight loss lose weight gain energy supplement drashti dhami weight loss diet effective weight loss pill 6 week weight loss diet plan with shopping list supplements women should take weight loss beyonce master cleanse weight loss diet intense diet and exercise for quick weight loss detox diet plan lose weight fast what weight loss drugs actually work can dollar store weight loss pills give headachr is my weight loss diet affecting my health green tea supplement weight loss do cinnamon pills help you lose weight best keto weight loss pills reviews pills for lose weight fast ogernet the 1000 calorie diet plan for weight loss

herbal penis pills pill identification wizard gnc natural male enhancement male energy supplements male enhancement materbation penis enlargement bible workouts best hair pills apexx male enhancement penile enlargement that works best male enhancement pills for size now energy pills hgh and trt safe penis enlargement liquid steel male enhancer male enhancement pills 30 minutes before penis enlargement scientific study when to use male enhancement pills good sex pills for men supplement for low libido pills to help premature ejaculation increase male libido supplements tablets in india roy d mercer wife pills doctor sex rhodiola libido booster safe male enhancement for age 67

cbd oil legal in ky cbd oil fairbanks high cbd low thc strain cbd oil manhattan best cbd e juice cbd oil legal in kentucky mixing cbd and nicotine treatwell cbd greenworld cbd cbd stocks cbd oil 500mg dosage cbd and panic attacks cbd states divine cbd oil pure cbd tincture oil cbd pen amazon infusionz cbd cbd maplewood what iscbd oil cbd alcoholism does cbd oil show up on drug screens charlottes web cbd oil stock green roads cbd oil near cheshire ct cbd idaho falls