FLORA AND FAUNA, PRESERVATION OF
Control by the Department of Lands and Survey
Besides the national parks scenic reserves, and domains which form habitats where native flora and fauna have a chance of survival, by 1962 twenty-eight reserves, with a total area of nearly 450,000 acres, had been set aside for the special purpose of preservation of flora and fauna, by the Department of Lands and Survey which retains control of access by the public. These comprise mainly off-shore and outlying islands, with the recent addition of Snares, Bounty, and Antipodes Islands which are ideal sanctuaries for sea birds and marine mammals. Sub-Antarctic Islands are now under this control and are uninhabited, with the exception of Campbell Island where there is a meteorological station. A study of the Chatham Island group, especially of Rangatira Island (now a reserve) has shown that, where previously most of the vegetation has been destroyed by sheep, regeneration of the former plant covering is now taking place. Caretakers at these sanctuaries report on the numbers and species of birds as well as growth of plants. Visitors are allowed only by special permit, and are usually persons who are keen naturalists. On Kapiti Island a certain amount of recent planting has resulted in good cover and food supply for the birds.
Little Barrier Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, is an area of nearly 7,000 acres where tuis, parakeets, kakas, and stitch birds are common. Kiwis and even tuataras, sea birds on the coast, and many insects live unmolested. Though most sanctuaries are islands there are important mainland areas: at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay, there are 32 acres set aside as a gannet colony; and the white heron colony at Waitangiroto, South Westland, is an area of nearly 2,000 acres where herons and spoonbills have been successfully hatched and reared.