Flora

The Reserve has four distinct floral zones:

• Podocarp-broadleaf forest

• Coastal vegetation with an array of Coprosma, tree ferns and tree fuchsia

• A small sphagnum-and-sedge wetland

• A rewilding pasture with sedges, bracken and various grasses.

The forest is dominated by kamahi (Weimannia racemosa), rata (Metrosideros umbellate), rimu and miro trees. The coniferous rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) may live up to 900 years and grow to 50 metres in height, and there are many fine examples of these giants of the forest within the Reserve.

The Trust’s strategy is to conserve the existing native flora and to help facilitate the rewilding of those areas that were previously cleared for farm grazing. 

Bush view from meadowlands square.jpg

Fauna

Among the many bird species to be found in the Reserve are at least 18 native species:

Bellbird (Korimako, Melanura anthornis)

Blue Penguins (Korora, Eudyptula minor)

Brown Creeper (Pipipi, Mohoua novaeseelandiae)

Fantail (Piwakawaka, Rhipidura f. fulginosa)

Fernbird (Mātātā, Bowdleria punctata)

Fiordland Crested Penguins (Tawaki, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus)

Grey Warbler (Riroriro, Gerygone igata)

Long-tailed Cuckoo (Koekoeā, Eudynamys taitensis)

Parrots (Kaka, Nestor m.meridionalis)

Red-crowned parakeet (Kakariki, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae)

Rifleman (Titipounamu, Acanthisitta chloris)

Shining cuckoo (Pipiwharauroa, Chrysococcyx lucidus)

Silvereye (Tauhou, Zosterops lateralis lateralis)

Tomtit (Ngiru-ngiru, Petroica macrocephala)

Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)

Sooty Shearwater (Tītī, Ardenna grisea)

Southern Brown Kiwi (Tokoeka, Apteryx a. lawryi)

Wood Pigeon (Keruru or Kukupa, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae)

Importantly, Stewart Island weka (Gallirallus australis scotti) are not present within the Reserve.  Although they are native to Stewart Island, their food source includes the invertebrates and lizards that are re-establishing themselves within the Reserve so they will continue to be precluded from entering the Reserve by the biosecurity fence.

There are at least 7 known invertebrate species living within the Reserve, including a healthy population of common skink (Oligosoma polychroma).  We would like to see a survey completed on the Reserve's lizard population to see if there are resident geckos and would welcome enquiries from interested researchers.  We are also interested in helping protect the the Stewart Island green skinks that are now mainly confined to the Mason's Bay and Codfish Island areas, by a translocation into the Reserve.

The coastline surrounding the Reserve is also the home or resting point for a variety of marine mammals including NZ fur seals, NZ sea lions and the occasional leopard seal.

The Trust’s strategy is to conserve the existing native fauna, to help grow the populations of the resident species and to seek opportunities to re-establish other absent natives such as Yellowhead (Mōhua, Mohoua ochrocephala) and South Island Saddleback (Tieke, Philesturnus carunculatus).

The Trust is particularly interested in the potential to establish tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) within the Reserve. There is a pressing need to find new locations for the expanding population of captive bred tuatara and it is the Trust’s understanding that the Reserve represents a very suitable habitat due to its north facing aspect, abundance of invertebrate populations on which tuatara predominantly prey; including beetles, crickets and spiders, and the absence of the predatory weka.

People

Antony Simpson, General Manager

Antony and his family have been living on Stewart Island for several years,  having been drawn here by their love of the outdoors and the opportunities for hunting and diving.   As GM he is responsible for preventing rats, cats, possums and deer from gaining access to the Reserve, and to detect and remove them when they do occasionally manage to make their way around the ends of the fence.

Antony also looks after the education centre and over time will develop walking tracks and other facilities to support education, research and ecotourism activities within the Reserve.

In Antony's own words...

"I came to this work at the Reserve because I believe in what we are doing and achieving.  The challenge we have is to make this sanctuary a better place for our outstanding bird life and the forests that support them,

Tiakina nga manu,
kaora  te ngahere.
Kiaora te ngahere,
Kaora nga manu.

Look after the birds
and the forest flourishes.
If the forest flourishes
the birds flourish.

And to share this with all the people who visit here to learn, or study, or enjoy the wonder of it all."  

 

Roy Thompson, Trustee

In 2017 the Reserve was purchased by a family trust associated with Roy and his wife Rachel, and they subsequently established the Mamaku Point Conservation Trust in order to engage the wider community in their biodiversity, education and sustainability objectives for the Reserve.

Roy and Rachel are originally from Central Otago farming backgrounds and currently live in Auckland. Roy's been a regular visitor to Stewart Island since 1974 and has been hunting and diving around the Island almost annually since the mid 1980’s. 

 

Phillip Smith, Trustee

Phillip is an original Stewart Islander and respected elder within the local iwi.  As owner and operator of Bravo Adventure Cruises, a company that specialised in Kiwi spotting trips on Stewart Island, Phillip has over 23 years experience in guiding under a concession permit from the Department of Conservation.

Phillip has a deep knowledge of the Stewart Island ecology and has been proactive in the welfare of Kiwi.  He also takes an active role in the maintenance of the tracks and facilities around Stewart Island.

 

Philip Seddon, Trustee

Phil is a Professor of Zoology and Director of the Postgraduate Wildlife Management Programme at the University of Otago. Phil’s areas of expertise include reintroduction biology and application of conservation translocations; seabird ecology; pest species management; protected area management; and nature-based tourism impact mitigation. 

Phil is currently also a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Reintroduction Specialist Group; External member of Department of Conservation recovery groups for Kaki (Black stilt), Takahe, and Hoiho (Yellow-eyed penguin); Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and member of the WCPA Task Force on Tourism. Phil is also an advisor on restoration projects in Indonesia, Mongolia, Austria, and the Middle East.