Graphid on Rhopalostylis Nikau Bush Rekohu

A new Chatham Island lichen – Zwackhia viridis

The lichenized mycobiota of the Chatham Islands is still poorly known. Since 2008 there has been a major effort to collect lichens from the islands. From those collections, lichenologists working in the UNITEC herbarium, Unitec New Zealand Institute of Technology campus in Auckland, are beginning to make a number of […]

Little penguin

Penguins of the Chatham Islands

Korora, or little penguin (Eudyptula minor), is the only penguin species currently breeding at the Chatham Islands, however that has not always been the case. Two extinct penguins endemic to the Chatham Island have recently been described. While not breeding, several other species of penguin also occasionally visit the islands.

Secretive marsh crake seen on Chatham Islands

The tiny, secretive marsh crake (Porzana pusilla affinis) known to iwi as koitareke or kotoreke is known from the Chatham Islands on the basis of one specimen collected by Henry H. Travers in 1872 and a 1997 report of a bird calling in response to a tape played at Te […]

Coprosma flower bud mite found

Last September a wander along the shore of Te Whanga discovered what seems to be the first recorded occurrence of Coprosma mite (Acalitus cottieri) for the Chatham Islands. The mites are microscopic but their feeding activity distorts and damages the flower buds of Coprosma species so forming conspicuous spherical galls. […]

Zoo Staff doing conservation work at Owhiro Bay

Wellington Zoo launches Local Conservation Grants Programme

Wellington Zoo is excited to announce the launch of the Wellington Zoo Conservation Fund Local Grants Programme during Conservation Week in Aotearoa. The Zoo is offering funding for projects or programmes in the Greater Wellington Region and the Chatham Islands with clear community conservation value for native wildlife and wild […]

The ongoing decline of the enigmatic Chatham Island linen flax

Linum (Linaceae) is a genus of about 200 species found mostly in the northern hemisphere though it extends into the subtropics and has representatives on most of the major landmasses of the world. Universally known by the vernacular ‘flax’ some species, notably ‘linen flax’ Linum usitatissimum produce fibres that are […]

Caloplaca maculata – Collected from type locality, south of Waitangi Wharf, Chatham Islands. Image: Allison Knight

The unexpected near demise of Caloplaca maculata from the Chatham Islands

The Chathams Islands group are the eastern-most expression of the New Zealand archipelago. Opinions vary as to the age of the current islands; geological evidence suggests that the current surface expression is anywhere from 2–3 million years old (Holt 2008) but the DNA evidence, based on molecular clock inferences indicates […]

Leptinella featherstonii

Chatham oddities – the anomalous Chatham Island button daisy

Leptinella belong to the daisy family (Asteraceae / Compositae). As a rule, they are perennial creeping herbs forming a compact turf. Current estimates suggest there are c.33 species centred on Australasia with outliers in South Africa and South America. New Zealand has c.24 species, most of them endemic. However, the […]

Strategic Review of Shipping Options

Please find enclosed a copy of our Strategic Review of Shipping Options for the Chatham Islands. This comprehensive paper has been produced following on from last year’s public meeting at the Den in September. The above meeting was called to start discussions on “what next after Southern Tiare” The CISL […]

Rust on Mangere

A new highly threatened enigmatic rust recognised from Chatham Islands forget-me-not

During January 2007 the Auckland Botanical Society visited the Chatham Islands. During their visit the late Dr Ross Beever, then a mycologist working for Landcare Research discovered a strange, orange rust growing on cultivated plants of Chatham Islands forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia) within the visitor car park gardens, Department of Conservation offices, Te One, Chatham Islands