Myrtle Rust and the Chatham Islands

On May 4 2017 Myrtle Rust (Austropuccinia psidii) was first detected in the North Island of New Zealand (Beresford et al. 2018). Its arrival had been anticipated; New Zealander’s had nervously watched the relentless spread of this rust as it skipped across the world from the Amazon to Florida (USA), […]

Chatham Island Conservation Board at Te One School

CI Conservation Board Meeting – 28th Sept 2020

The Chatham Island Conservation Board met for their September 2020 meeting in Room One, Te One School. Attending the meeting were Board members Judy Kamo (Chair), Susan Thorpe, Mana Cracknell, Di Gregory-Hunt, Trescia Lawson and Peter de Lange. Representing the Department of Conservation was Tryphena Cracknell Operations Manager, now six […]

CI Conservation Board Meeting – 27th August 2020

The Chatham Island Conservation Board met for their August 2020 meeting at the Kaingāroa, Playgroup, buildings. Attending the meeting were Board members Judy Kamo (Chair), Susan Thorpe, Mana Cracknell, Amanda Seymour, Di Gregory-Hunt (by phone), and Trescia Lawson. Representing the Department of Conservation was Tryphena Cracknell Operations Manager. Also, in […]

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 […]