Why has the community come together to create this wildlife sanctuary?
We have a Mission!
To enrich the community through the restoration and guardianship of an indigenous Marlborough Sounds wildlife sanctuary in which the natural ecosystems and native flora and fauna flourish in a predator-free environment that can be appreciated by all.
We have a passionate Management Committee who collectively guide the development of the sanctuary:
- Alan Izard - Chairperson
- Ronald Ragen- Treasurer
- Jo O’Connell – Secretary
- Rose Prendeville – Port Marlborough
- Robin Cox – Department of Conservation
- Barry Maister
- Jane Gimpl
- Gerald Harper
- Juliet Gibbons
And we have a brilliant bunch of field workers (who are always looking for more good keen people to join them!).
These are the guys (and girls) who lead the way in getting things done on Kaipupu:
- Vince Cowie – Field Work
- Paul Mann – Field Work
- Dave Nichols – Field Work
- Andrew John – Education
- Ann Hindmarsh – Kaipupu Sanctuary Shop
- Alison and Nozz Fletcher – Publicity
- Reg Dawkins – Honarary Timekeeper in Perpetuity
What is Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary ?
Kaipupu Point is the name of the headland poking out from Picton.
Look for it next time you come on the ferry into Picton, you sail right beside it.
The headland is around 40 hectares and is almost an island, with only a small connection with the mainland. A pest-proof fence has already been built across the connection to the mainland to stop pests like possums, stoats, rats and cats getting into the sanctuary, isolating the headland from the rest of the mainland. The Sanctuary area is mostly gently sloped, but it has some tricky steeper areas. At the very top are great views of the intricate waterways of the Sounds. In Dolphin Bay the Kaipupu jetty has been built. This is the only access to the sanctuary. The construction of tracks around the sanctuary is nearly complete, and expected to be finished by the end of December 2012.
A Beautiful Spot – Trees, shrubs, scrub, ferns and more
The original cover of native forest is largely gone although a few pockets of beautiful big trees (mainly hard beech, black beech, kamahi and tawa) remain.
This headland (as in most of the Sounds) was probably farmed for many decades. Now, and with our help, it’s fast regenerating back to lush native bush. The humid mild climate and relatively fertile soil is a bonus, and accelerates this process.
Behind the predator proof fence we can now find a dense forest of five-finger, mahoe, akeake, and kanuka, with a wealth of shrubs and ferns enjoying their opportunity to grow beneath the canopy. With our steady managment to eradicate wilding pines and controlling other weeds, the resulting lush native vegetation is exciting.
So dense is the undergrowth in most places that is already feels like an offshore island!
A Bright Future!
Already in good ecological condition, it is getting better as regeneration progresses. The vegetation is doing a good job of holding the erodible hillsides together, and provides valuable habitat for native birds as well as other small animals like lizards and invertebrates.
Like so many other bush areas in New Zealand, possums, cats, rats and stoats are probably the main animal threats to Kaipupu. We have completed a poison drop in November-December 2012, and with the pest proof fence and ongoing monitoring and trapping, we will keep them out permanently. After eradication, we anticipate bird life will flourish.
With our ”mainland island” management, Kaipupu Point will become a significant showpiece of nature restoration right on Picton’s doorstep.