A sanctuary for endangered native birds and other flora and fauna, is taking shape on Picton's doorstep.
The creation of a sanctuary, Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary, was initiated by the Kaipupu Point Mainland Island Society Incorporated in 2005. The Kaipupu Sanctuary is located on Kaipupu Point, between Picton Harbour and Shakespeare Bay, in the Marlborough Sounds.
The long term goal at the very start was to establish a wildlife sanctuary on Kaipupu Point through the eradication of introduced pests, animals and plant species. To achieve this goal the Society embarked on a programme that includes the building of a predator proof fence, eradication of plant and animal pests, restoration of the natural ecosystems; and the repopulation of native birds and indigenous flora and fauna. The intention is that Kaipupu Point will involve and engage the community, with public access encouraged for locals and visitors alike. The Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary will provide a safe haven for native flora and fauna and to share this haven with anyone who has an interest in the outdoors, bush, wildlife, restoration, and natural landscapes.
Kaipupu Point is a special type of sanctuary called a “mainland island”. It has been isolated from the mainland by the construction of a high tech predator proof fence, making it, in essence, an “island sanctuary”. The 600 metre long predator proof fence is the barrier across the isthmus between Shakespeare Bay and Picton Harbour, and the water surrounding the rest of the headland completes the barrier around the sanctuary. The special predator proof fence stands two metres high and is built of stainless steel wire mesh with a special hood on top to prevent animals such as cats, possums, stoats, rats and mice jumping or climbing and getting in to the sanctuary. Wire mesh extends horizontally from the bottom of the fence as a “skirt” to prevent burrowing animals such as rabbits and rats from digging under it.
The sanctuary provides a living experience to develop awareness and a sense of commitment to the protection and preservation of our environment. The sanctuary is also expected to be further used as an outdoor classroom for local schools, extending the education outreach programme which is currently in place. Currently volunteers go into schools to teach the students about the sanctuary, and why this is a very special place for Picton and New Zealand. Class groups from both Picton and Koromiko schools are using Kaipupu as their outdoor classroom. Also, local schools are already growing native plants to be used for restoration in the sanctuary, and have made weta “motels” and lizard “houses” for use on the sanctuary.
As time goes by the “Mainland Island” of Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary will become a significant showpiece of nature restoration right on Picton’s doorstep – an extremely worthy project of great environmental, educational and tourism value for Marlborough and New Zealand.
The backbone of the development of the sanctuary is the local community and local businesses. Without this support Kaipupu Sanctuary would not be where it is today.
To enrich the community through the restoration and guardianship of an indigenous Marlborough Sounds wildlife sanctuary, in which the natural ecosystems, native flora and fauna flourish in a predator-free environment that can be appreciated by all
Visit us at www.kaipupupoint.co.nz