Introduction

Restoration progress is being made on some of the Coromandel's offshore islands including Cuvier Island, the Mercury Islands and the Aldermen Islands.

Cuvier Island

A volcanic island, nature reserve, and covered with coastal puhutukawa, Cuvier's broadleaf forest is home to many of New Zealand's endangered wildlife. Situated east off the northern tip of the Coromandel, Cuvier is managed primarily for scientific and species protection purposes, so access is restricted to those with permits.

Recent work includes surveys in the Moth Plant Area to identify the success of previous spraying of Agrave and Dimorphotheca plants. Seven juvenile tuatara bred at Auckland Zoo, have been released back onto the island.

Track maintenance has been done, regular check of the bait stations made and bird surveys undertaken. Rodent monitoring confirmed no rodents have made their way to the island. Three annual releases of one hundred Pycrofts Petrel chicks have been introduced to artificial burrows, as a monitor for the translocation of Chatham Islands petrel to other islands, in the Chatham group.

Mercury Islands

Situated north-east of Opito Bay, the Mercury Island group consists of several islands with the largest being Great Mercury Island, which is the only island in the group that is not a nature reserve.

The other six islands in the Mercury Islands group, Middle, Double, Koropuki, Red Mercury, Stanley and Green,  are all volcanic, and home to many of New Zealand's endangered bird and reptile species. Access to the island is by permit only.

On Korapuki Island 83 juvenile Suter’s skinks reared at Victoria University, have been released and are being monitored for their ongoing breeding success.

Tree weta and darkling beetles have been relocated from Double Island to Korapuki Island and have adapted successfully with over 400 being counted. Bait stations continue to be checked and re-baited to maintain a pest free status.

Ahuahu-Great Mercury Island – eradicating pests

Aldermen Islands

Located off the coast of Pauanui, the Aldermens are a nature reserve/wildlife sanctuary made up of five main islands. Covered with regenerating coastal forest the islands are rich with wildlife, including tuatara and robust skink. Access to these islands is by permit only.

Surveys were done on the four main islands for presence of large invertebrates such as spiders, reptiles, birds, threatened plants and weeds.

The Royal New Zealand Navy vessel KIWI was made available as a floating hostel and transport, for the scientists undertaking this latest trip.

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