1. Lepidium oleraceum – Cook’s Scurvy Grass is of course not a grass but a large shrubby cress with a flavour not unlike watercress.

Remarkable and unexpected diversity of scurvy grasses discovered on the Chatham Islands

The New Zealand scurvy grasses (Lepidium species) include the famous Cook’s scurvy grass (L. oleraceum), a species which has gained almost legendary status as the plant that saved Captain Cook and his crew from the depredations of scurvy. Whilst modern research has shown that this is gross exaggeration it cannot be doubted that this plant and its allies were important green foods for not only scurvy ridden sailors but iwi (who in New Zealand knew the plants collectively as ‘nau’).

Wandering albatross chick on Hakepa, Pitt Island

Another wandering albatross chick raised on Pitt Island

DOC ranger Kenny Dix took the opportunity to band the wandering albatross chick whilst he was visiting Pitt Island recently. This was the sixth Antipodean wandering albatoss chick to be raised on Pitt Island and all going well, this special little one will set out to sea in early 2013. […]

Ferdinand von Mueller: author of the first Chatham Island Flora published by the Victoria State Government of Australia in 1864.

New Checklist of the Chatham Islands Plants Published

As progress toward the preparation of the first flora of the Chatham Islands since 1864 Department of Conservation and Landcare Research scientists have published a new checklist of the plants of the Chatham Islands group (de Lange et al. 2011). The checklist not only provides the first full vouchered listing […]

Chatham Island toetoe

Study reveals low levels of genetic diversity in Chatham Islands toetoe

A study just published in Pacific Conservation Biology reveals that the Chatham Island toetoe (Austroderiaturbaria) populations have very little significant genetic variation (Houliston et al. 2012). The discovery comes as somewhat of a worrying surprise to plant conservationists. Previously, without the ability to check levels of genetic variation the Department […]

In Search of Cox’s Matipo

Unique to the Chathams, Cox’s matipo (Myrsine coxii) is a tough little plant well designed to withstand the weather with small leathery leaves and usually keeping under 2m tall. Surprisingly it flowers in winter, but not that you’d notice. You might however see the odd purple berry. It doesn’t appear […]

Mangere plantings in 1981

Over 30 years of planting on Mangere and still going

Mangere Island provides an important predator-free refuge to many rare and endemic invertebrates, birds and plants. Restoration first started on the island in the 1970’s with the Wildlife Service planting akeake shelterbelts in Douglas Basin and on the Top Plateau in an effort to expand the habitat available to black […]

Mia, Harriet and Jacob checking a Chatham petrel burrow

School children visit Rangatira

In early July three Chatham Islands school children accompanied Department of Conservation staff to Rangatira or South East Island for a 4-day field trip. The primary purpose of the trip was to check and close Chatham petrel burrows for the winter, however this trip offered an ideal opportunity to expose […]

Southern Tiare

Stage one of Shipping Plan completed

The Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust is pleased to announce the formation of a new shipping operation with 44 South Shipping Co Ltd (operated by Dennis Nisbet). The business and assets of 44 South Shipping Co Ltd, previously based in Napier, have been purchased by a new operating company, Chatham Islands […]

Parea - Chatham Island pigeon

Parea – the Chatham Island pigeon

Status (2008):Population (2009):Trend: Critically Endangered600 individualsImproving Larger and heavier than its mainland cousin, the parea or Chatham Island pigeon is today largely confined to the south-western corner of Chatham Island.  Like several other Chatham species the parea had a close brush with extinction, with the population dropping to 40-45 birds […]

Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris)

Chatham petrel population growing

Status (2012):Population (2010):Trend: Nationally vulnerable1,400 individualsImproving Probably once abundant throughout the Chatham Islands, human exploitation, habitat destruction and introduced predators saw the Chatham petrel restricted to Rangatira or Southeast Island by the time of its discovery in 1892. Until 1961 farming activity on Rangatira resulted in the petrels being confined […]