Zealandia a Nature Reserve with a 500-Year Plan
“In the past 30 years, a wilderness has grown up in the heart of New Zealand’s capital – so successfully its neighbours now complain about the raucous racket of rare birds. But this is just the first step in a much longer plan for wilderness in the city,” Rina Diane Caballar writes in a story about Wellington’s ecosanctuary, Zealandia, for the BBC.
“Zealandia’s rich biodiversity can be attributed to the 8.6km predator-exclusion fence encircling 225ha of land. A group of conservation managers, engineers and scientists designed and tested a fence suitable to Zealandia’s needs – one high enough to prevent invasive mammalian predators such as ferrets and possums from jumping or climbing over, with a wire mesh wall to exclude pests down to the size of a mouse and an underground skirt to prevent rats and other animals from burrowing underneath,” Caballar writes.
“‘By creating an area that excludes all introduced mammalian predators, we’ve created a safe haven,’ Zealandia’s chief executive Paul Atkins says.
“Looking to the future, Zealandia has a 500-year vision of restoring the forest and freshwater ecosystems of the valley where it resides as closely as possible to their prehuman state. This five-century period is the sanctuary’s estimate of how long it would take for the forest’s original canopy to regrow.”
Original article by Rina Diane Caballar, BBC, May 28, 2021.
Photo by Steve Attwood.