Island ecology under care

Just 210 metres offshore in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve on Wellington’s south coast, Tapu Te Ranga Island is a well-known natural and landscape feature with recognised conservation value.

Knowing that those conservation values were vulnerable, the Wellington City Council engaged Boffa Miskell to prepare an ecological restoration plan.

Thorough surveys of the 3.2-hectare island showed that competing weeds were the main threat to the indigenous vegetation while rats and mice were likely to be predating or competing with native birds and lizards.

Recommended rehabilitation, therefore, prioritised weed and pest control, with ongoing vigilance to prevent reinfestation. Management measures to contain the impact of recreational visitors exploring the island were also recommended.

Amber Bill, the council’s Manager of Community Engagement and Reserves, says a long-term monitoring programme will be put in place to gauge and manage change as the island’s ecology recovers.

1 November 2012