Chapter 14. Ulva Island
It may be that the visit to this tiny island just off from Stewart Island was the highpoint in our visit since it combined everything we had learned about the conservation efforts afoot today in New Zealand. This is a private undertaking by citizens of Stewart Island, operated in conjunction with DOC guidelines and supervision. About 11 years ago, the good people of Oban and environs decided to make their own predator-free nature reserve. Through consultations with DOC, they employed the same pest eradication techniques utilized by DOC. Within a year of their initial efforts, they were able to declare Ulva Island exotic predator free! Such a proud accomplishment for
these dedicated private citizens! Next they were able to work with DOC to bring some birds that had been present on Ulva before human/exotic animal predation over to this island for their sanctuary. This re-introduction has been a clear success, as we were to see during our visit. We rode the Zodiacs over from the Clipper O to the island over the bumpiest seas we had crossed yet on this expedition but we were are psyched for this visit because we had heard so much about the island. Everyone was smiling in eager anticipation and no one gave way to anxiety or white knuckling—at least not in our Zodiac. And what magic awaited us there!
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