Tamatea – Dusky Sound Restoration Project
The vision is for Tamatea/Dusky Sound to be one of Earth’s most intact ecosystems, a source of endangered native species with which to repopulate conservation sites throughout New Zealaand
The Tamatea/Dusky Sound restoration plan is a 30 year project with the ambitious goals of eradicating pests and re-introducing species that once flourished in the area. Dusky Sound’s geographical isolation has assisted it to remain one of the least modified parts of mainland New Zealand, with lush native bush cover and relatively few weeds. Many of Dusky Sound’s islands have never been invaded by the introduced pests that now plague the mainland.
The project area encompasses Breaksea Sound, Acheron Passage, Wet Jacket Arm, and Dusky Sound itself, and over 700 islands, including New Zealand’s fifth largest island, Resolution Island.
View the full restoration plan.
To help tell Tamatea’s story, in 2016 26 artists produced more than 50 original works of art inspired by the area. Each artist donated some or all of their work to support DOC’s conservation and restoration projects in Dusky Sound.
The Foundation is supporting this creative project, providing expertise in funds management.
How you can help
Dusky Sound is a pioneer for island sanctuary projects, with many islands having had pest animals removed or reduced to low levels.
Resolution Island/Mauikatau: Because of its large size (around 21,000 ha) and possum and rat free status, Resolution Island has a critical role in the success of the entire restoration project. It is the site of a stoat and deer eradication programme, one of the most ambitious pest control programmes in the world. In 2011 mohua were returned. In 2017, Central Otago wine producer Peregrine Wines launched a new project by adding six new trap lines aimed at capturing stoats to the north-east corner of the island. Removing stoats from the island could pave the way for the reintroduction of threatened species such as tīeke/saddleback and kākāpō, as well as allowing current populations of mohua/yellowhead, kea, kiwi and rock wren to flourish.
Controlling pests on smaller islands adjacent to Resolution Island creates more secure habitat for our native species, and helps prevent pests using these smaller islands as ‘stepping stones’ to reinvasion.
Your donation will go towards 28 new self-setting trap lines on the island. These additions will create a highly efficient network of traps intended to remove the remaining stoats and intercept any future stoat incursions.
In addition to the work on Resolution Island, and as part of the Tamatea/Dusky Sound Restoration Project, a range of other work is being carried out:
Breaksea Island: This island was cleared of rats in 1988 and is now pest free. This was a world first for an island of its size. The many tactics and lessons learned formed the basis for similar pest eradication programmes globally. A wide range of species including tieke, mohua, the knobbled weevil and Fiordland skink have since been transferred to this pest free island paradise and are now thriving.
Anchor Island: This special island was declared pest free in 2005 and is now home to some of our most endangered birds, including one third of the world's kākāpō population.
Pigeon Island: This 73 ha island was declared pest free in 2007 and is a mohua and South Island robin translocation site.
Indian Island: This island was declared pest free in 2012 but a rat was discovered in January 2016 and it is thought they are now breeding.
Long Island: Pest control has recently started on this island and an intensive trapping network is being established to help protect the outlying islands from reinvasion.