Southern Discoveries is passionate about preserving Milford Sound’s beauty for future generations which is why it’s a key partner in a major conservation project – the Sinbad Sanctuary Project.
The aim is to see the valley of New Zealand’s most photographed mountain (Sinbad Gully is at the base of Mitre Peak) become a sanctuary for native species.
Southern Discoveries is proud to partner with the Fiordland Conservation Trust and Department of Conservation to establish a pest control programme to help threatened birds, lizards and invertebrate species in the valley to increase in number.
The Sinbad Gully has a natural barrier of steep terrain, combined with a cold, wet climate which has limited the invasion of mammalian predators. These attributes have contributed to making it safer refuge for the rare lizard species such as the Sinbad and mahogany skinks and the cascade gecko. All three were only recently discovered in the Sinbad Gully and the Sinbad skink is known only to the Sinbad Gully.
In the 1970s, Sinbad Gully was home to the last know New Zealand kakapo (the world’s rarest parrot) living on the mainland. Southern Discoveries financial support and volunteer work is also helping protect native species like the whio (blue duck), and helping to encourage the return of bellbirds, tui and kiwi.
Sinbad Sanctuary Project – 10 year anniversary
Southern Discoveries’ passion for preserving Milford Sound’s beauty for future generations has seen the company commit more than $330,000 to the Sinbad Sanctuary Project over 10 years, but their support goes beyond the purely financial.
Southern Discoveries’ staff are also involved in predator control, surveying and other monitoring, and the combined efforts of all those involved in the project has delivered significant results.
DOC workers and Southern Discoveries volunteers initially laid out 70 traps in the area in December 2009, with a second stoat trap line established in 2017. The team has undertaken around 90 trap checks, 20 whio (native blue duck) surveys, two kiwi surveys and three distance sampling surveys of other wildlife over the past decade…
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If you would like to support the work of Southern Discoveries, the Fiordland Conservation Trust and the Department of Conservation with the Sinbad Sanctuary Project, donations can be made at the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory or when you make a booking with Southern Discoveries.