New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands
The New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands consist of five island groups (the Snares, Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands and Campbell Island) in the Southern Ocean south-east of New Zealand. The islands, lying between the Antarctic and Subtropical Convergences and the seas, have a high level of productivity, biodiversity, wildlife population densities and endemism among birds, plants and invertebrates. They are particularly notable for the large number and diversity of pelagic seabirds and penguins that nest there. There are 126 bird species in total, including 40 seabirds of which five breed nowhere else in the world.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Abundance and diversity of pelagic seabirds, penguins, land birds, invertebrates and plants and important breeding areas for marine mammals
Distinctive examples of evolutionary processes which result in high levels of endemism
The potential for increased impacts form invasive species in the future due to climate change is also a key reason for maintaining the highest biosecurity possible to avoid new species, which are not currently deemed a major threat, from establishing.
Global climate changes are also likely to have an impact of oceanic systems e.g. currents, nutrient availability, organism distribution. As the ecosystem at the site relies heavily on oceanic nutrients any change is likely to negatively impact both individual species and also the overall ecosystem.
Climate change, for example increased rainfall may also increase the risk of erosion. (R1-R22)
At the time of inscription only one island group had a marine reserve (Auckland Islands). Additional marine reserves have been established to improve conservation. Four marine reserves now exist within the property: Antipodes Island, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands and Campbell Island. These better protect marine values and the connectivity between marine & terrestrial systems (DOC, 2017b).
At the time of the previous assessment concerns were raised about proposed plans to
substantially increase both visitor sites and numbers due to the biosecurity risks and potential damage to fragile ecosystems (R1-R22). However, there does not appear to be evidence of this occurring. A comprehensive biosecurity programme is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) for all expeditions visiting and landing on the islands to minimize the risk of introduced species. Extremely rigorous biosecurity practices apply to any visitors making landfall (RadioNZ, 2017).
Improved visitor management planning is also reported as underway (IUCN Stakeholder Consultation, 2017). The new Conservation Management Strategy (CMS) 2016-2026 which covers the property commits to the continued practice of a DOC official accompanying every voyage where people land on the islands (DOC, 2016).
Weed species are present on several of the islands. These are not being actively managed unless it is considered that they will endanger the island ecosystems. Olearia lyallii at the Auckland Islands has recently been determined to have arrived by humans and is therefore considered an alien species. It is being monitored to determine its potential impact on the island ecosystems (Wilmshurst, J. et al., 2015).
Management of the marine area is integrated through the development and implementation of the Regional coastal plan – Kermadec and Subantarctic Islands, which fits under the National Coastal Plan (R1-R22). This plan is still being finalized (IUCN Stakeholder Consultation, 2017) but provides rules that control structures, disturbance, deposition and reclamation and measures to address potential impact from oil spills (DOC, 2016).
As noted above the property’s management plan, the CMS has been updated for 2016-2026, and has been incorporated into the larger Southland Murihiku region. The strategy outlines goals and outcomes specific to the property including the preparation, implementation and regular review of a visitor management plan in the next 3 years.
Since then there has been increased protection of the marine habitat within the site with additional no take marine reserves around the Antipodes (full), Bounty (partial) and Campbell (partial with programmed review) being protected.
Following World Heritage acceptance, rats have been removed from Campbell Island and plans are currently underway to remove mice from the Antipodes. Greater effort needs to go into removing pigs and cats from the Auckland Islands as forecast in the site’s CMS (R1-R22; DOC, 2016).
All access is by permit. Visitor access is only permitted on the main Auckland Island, Enderby Island and the main Campbell Island. Guidelines are in place to manage the number of visitors permitted to access approved sites at each of these islands, in order to manage impacts on the significant natural values. There is also a limit of no more than one cruise ship in a bay or harbour at any one time, to ensure that those on board the cruise ship can experience the isolation of the site (DOC, 2016)
The updated CMS provides additional prescriptions for managing visitors to the islands and notes that a specific visitor management plan will be prepared and reviewed every 3 years. (DOC, 2016; IUCN Stakeholder Consultation, 2017). It will be important that this more detailed visitor management planning is undertaken without delay.
Several of the species that contribute to the OUV of the property are part of the research programme that is administered by the DOC Conservation Services Programme. Other external research is reported on Yellow-eyed penguins, Antipodean Albatross, Snares Island penguin, Campbell Island rockhopper and the Antipodes Island penguin population (IUCN Stakeholder Consultation, 2017).
Impressive efforts have taken place in eradicating invasive mammal species from many parts of the property, however, these persist on some islands. The Department of Conservation has a commendable goal to eradicate all introduced mammal species from the islands by 2025.
Controls on bycatch of relevant species, especially albatross, are generally improving within the control of the New Zealand Government but are ongoing in international waters.
Maximum legal protection for all of the terrestrial and most of marine area. New Zealand is a recognised leader in invasive species control and management.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Department of Conservation||a) 3-year timeframe: actions to plan eradication of all mammal species; review the property’s research strategy; manage historic sites; strengthen collaborative work with Ngāi Tahu etc b) 5-year timeframe: actions to prepare the proposed Visitor Management Plan; monitor impact of pest plants c) 10-year timeframe: actions to improve knowledge of archaeological sites on Antipodes Islands; eradication of introduced mammals; ongoing review of management impact etc|
|1||Chilvers, B.L. (2008). New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri) and squid trawl fisheries: bycatch problems and management options. Endangered Species Research 5:193-204|
|2||Department of Conservation (1997) Subantarctic World Heritage nomination|
|3||Department of Conservation (1998) Conservation Management Strategy for Subantarctic Islands 1998 to 2008 (life extended to 2012). See http://www.doc.govt.nz/publications/about-doc/role/policies…|
|4||Department of Conservation (2000) Action Plan for Seabird Conservation in New Zealand; Part A: Threatened Seabirds. Threatened species Occasional Publication No 16|
|5||Department of Conservation (2011) Subantarctic Tourism Policy – DOC Invercargill, PO Box 743, Invercargill 9840, New Zealand|
|6||Department of Conservation (2012) Proposed regional coastal plan – Kermadec and Subantarctic Islands. See http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/consultations/curre…|
|7||Department of Conservation (2013) http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/land-and-freshwater/off…|
|8||Department of Conservation (2014) New subantarctic research station proposed. Media Release dated 05 March 2014. http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2014/new-subanta…. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|9||Department of Conservation (2016) Conservation management strategy - Southland Murihiku 2016- 2026, Volume 1. New Zealand Department of Conservation. http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-us/our-policies-and-plans/stat…. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|10||Department of Conservation (2017). Predator Free 2050 http://www.doc.govt.nz/predator-free-2050. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|11||Department of Conservation (2017b). Subantarctic Islands. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/so… Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|12||Department of Conservation unpublished reports and file notes covering pigs, Uundaria, Ooleria, tourism, facilities management and field reports. DOC Invercargill PO Box 743, Invercargill 9840, New Zealand|
|13||Department of Conservation. Antipodes Island mouse eradication plans- DOC Invercargill, PO Box 743, Invercargill 9840, New Zealand|
|14||Department of Conservation. Antipodes Island mouse eradication plans- DOC Invercargill, PO Box 743, Invercargill 9840, New Zealand|
|15||Francis, R.I.C.C.; Elliott, G.; Walker, K. (2012). Fisheries risks to the viability of Gibson’s wandering albatross Diomedea gibsoni. Draft New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report to Ministry of Fisheries project PRO200602.|
|16||Heritage Expeditions (2017). Subantarctic Islands Voyages. http://www.heritage-expeditions.com/cruises-expeditions-in-…. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|17||Hiscock, J.A. and Chilvers, B.L.2014 Declining eastern rockhopper (Eudyptes filholi) and erect-crested (E. sclateri) penguins on the Antipodes Islands, New Zealand New Zealand Journal of Ecology 38: 124-131|
|18||Hiscock, J.A., McClelland, P and Chilvers, B.L. (2014). First complete post-breeding survey of the Bounty Island Shag (Leucocarbo ranfurlyi) Notornis, 61: 60-62|
|19||IUCN (1998) Evaluation Report: New Zealand Subantarctic Islands (New Zealand) IUCN Gland Switzerland|
|20||McClelland, P.J. ; Campbell Island – pushing the boundaries of rat eradications Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 743, Invercargill, New Zealand. www.issg.org/pdf/publications/Island_Invasives/.../2McClell…|
|21||Milliondollarmouse initiative (2017). Eradicating mice from the Antipodes Islands. http://milliondollarmouse.org.nz/. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|22||Ministry of Fisheries – Marine Biosecurity (2001) Action Plan for unwanted species; Undaria (Undaria pinnatifida) http://biodiversity.govt.nz/pdfs/seas/undaria_action_plan_d…|
|23||MisKelly, C.M., and Fraser, J.R. (2006). Campbell Island snipe (Coenocorypha undescribed sp.) recolonize subantarctic Campbell Island following rat eradication. Notornis 53: 353-359|
|24||New Zealand government (2013) Subantarctic Islands Marine Protected Areas: Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Bill and accompanying Fisheries Act measures: Regulatory Impact Statement http://www.doc.govt.nz/documents/about-doc/role/legislation…- 102.0KB|
|25||RadioNZ (2017). Sub-antarctic islands offer glimpse of pest-free NZ. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/325293/sub-antarctic…. Accessed 07 June 2017.|
|26||Retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (2012). Decision 36COM 8E. http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4841 and http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/877/|
|27||Retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (2012). Decision 36COM 8E. http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4841 and http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/877/|
|28||Robertson B.C. and Chilvers, B.L. (2011). New Zealand sea lions Phocarctos hookeri possible causes of population decline. Mammal Review 41: 253–275|
|29||Thompson, D. R; Bearhop, S; Ross, B. (2005). Spread of Australasian pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) onto Campbell Island following eradication of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Notornis 52: 52–55.|
|30||West, C (2005) New Zealand Subantarctic Islands Research Strategy www.sub-antarctic.org/docs/subant-res-strat-05.pdf|
|31||Wilmshurst, J., McGlone, M.S. and Turney, C.S.M. (2015) Long-term ecology resolves the timing, region of origin and process of establishment for a disputed alien tree AoB PLANTS, 26 August 2015, 7, Article number plv104. https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/handle/2292/31598. Accessed 07 June 2017.|