Welcome to our Environmental Section

Help Keep New Zealand and Fiordland Beautiful – Stop Didymo

Check, Clean, and Dry your gear, no matter where you are.

Didymo Didymosphenia geminata is an invasive freshwater algae, first introduced to New Zealand in 2004. It is microscopic (unless blooming), which means it can be unknowingly transported on gear which has been used in infected freshwater ecosystems.

Didymo poses a threat to the natural character and important functioning of Fiordland’s rivers, which are home to a of number important species such as whio (Blue Duck) and trout, and ecosystems. People’s water based activities are the most common agent for spread of didymo. Unfortunately it has spread to many waterways around Southland and Fiordland, but has not made it to the Milford Track Rivers.

Consequently, the Clinton and Arthur Rivers (and tributaries) need additional protection due to their ecological and aesthetic significance to conservation. You can help stop the spread of didymo! By washing wet gear and boots in 5% detergent and water solution, you will kill any didymo spores, and help to keep our Milford Track rivers beautiful!

When you arrive at Glade Wharf on the Milford Track, you will be asked to walk through a 5% detergent and water solution – this will kill any Didymo which is on your boots. If you have any other gear (such as gaiters or waders) please check, clean and dry your gear BEFORE and AFTER your travels through Fiordland National Park – and any other area in New Zealand.

FISHING in Fiordland rivers is only allowed during season and IF you have your gear cleaned and hold a special fishing licence – this is to protect these areas and stop the spread of Didymo.

Takahe Survival Programme.

Nominated for the Southland Region Department of Conservation “Corporate Conservation Award 2009”

They say it is the little things that we all do which help the most. So here in Te Anau we came up with a vision to raise awareness of both local and global environmental issues, to provide an educational overview and the opportunity for our guests to take those first steps towards being part of the solution.

We began with an adopt a tree campaign whereby visitors were given the opportunity to Adopt a Tree for planting in our on-site Native Garden, This planting would offset some of the carbon those guests used during their New Zealand Holiday and also raise awareness of these issues. As we have now planted all 300 trees we have looked within our community and begun an environmental campaign to help protect native birds in the Fiordland National Park – “Buy Box”

‘Buy a Box’ involves the building of a wooden box and the placement of two trap mechanisms within to assist with the control and hopefully the eradication of introduced carnivorous pests that eat native birds and disrupt nesting – to learn more about these pests click the names here:Stoats, Rats and Ferrets.

Trapped Stoat Takahe release Murchison mountains 2008

These traps are being placed in the Doon area of Fiordland National Park and on Lake Te Anaus western shores bordering the Special Area where the Native ground bird Takahe (Notornis) are rapidly nearing extinction from their original habitat high up in the Murchison Mountains.

If you wish to purchase one of these traps we will tag the trap with your name on it, GPS its position and photograph the site for you. We will also e-mail you with updates on the work being done in this area.

The traps will be placed in the Doon by staff from Tracknet, Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park, Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers, Fiordland Nature Observations, Edgewater Motels, Fiordland Cruises. These companies will also provide vessels, vehicles food and beverage for volunteers. If you wish to join us on a mission we will notify you of the dates we intend setting or checking the traps once you have purchased one.

These companies have collectively purchased 70 traps to get the project underway but our target is to purchase 300 traps through the buy a box campaign. We will match each donation received.

The Department of Conservation have given us un-restricted access to the Doon catchment and obviously the more traps donated the better for this endangered species.

29 Stoat traps set Doon Valley

The traps and box costs around $140 each. If you are in a position to make a donation towards a box for $60 then please mention this when making a reservation with any of the businesses listed.

For information about each of the introduced carnivorous species that are being targeted and to learn more about the Takahe and other native new Zealand flightless birds facing extinction please click on the species name below to follow the link to the Department of Conservation Website:Takahe, Blue Duck / Whio, Rats, Stoats and Ferrets.

So what can you do to contribute?.

Anyone can purchase a box providing they agree with the following terms and conditions.

  1. Payment for a box is $60.00.
  2. Payment is accepted by The businesses as a “donation”.
  3. Once purchased the box is gifted to the Department of Conservation.
  4. No claim may be made by the sponsor over these boxes or the land in which they are placed ie: Fiordland National Park.

THANK YOU – For your support and for supporting the New Zealand family owned and operated businesses and this worthy cause to save the takahe.

Please remember to supply a photo if you wish to be named on this website. (run your mouse over the photos to see which box you own).

We have planted 300 Native Trees and Plants which have been purchased by visitors planning their New Zealand holiday – They are Coprosma (30), Karaka (15), Kahikatea (15), Dianella (15), Kowhai (20), Kakabeak (15), Flax (30), Carex Grasses (30), Cabbage Trees (15), Manuka (25), Kanuka (25), Pittosporums (25), Hebes (20) and Akeakes (20) – These plants grow from 50 centimetres tall to over 30 metres.

Once again thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Native Garden; offset some of their”carbon footprint” and provided future visitors with a wonderful amenity within the Holiday Park.

Since 1988 Tracknet has had a policy that we will only utilise a vehicle which has enough seats to do the job. Therefore we do not always require 45 seater coaches burning unneccesary fuel.

Trap 1. Oliver Sheppard
Trap 2. Reeko
Trap 3. Megan Willans
Trap 4. Mike Taylor
Trap 5. Steve Reed
Trap6. Robin
Trap 7. Greg Sheppard
Trap 8. Felicity Sheppard
Trap 10. Nepia Tauri
Trap 11. Clint Tauri
Trap 12. Peter Ridsdale
Trap 13. Mark Holland Nick Hutchins
Trap 14. Fale Pou
Trap 15. Brian Sheppard
Trap 18. Bruce Gordon
Trap 20. Kevin Flynn

Helen and Brian - Trap 24

Trap 25 Junko
Trap 26 Amy
Trap 27 Paul
Trap 28 Andy
Trap 29. Heather Langdon