Pleurophylum

50˚ SOUTH NEWS

CIBE support function, a fun-filled evening
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition - September fundraiser
50 Degrees South Trust

The evening of the 24th September couldn’t have been better if you had ordered it off a menu. The clock ticked over to 5pm and one of those beautiful spring evenings unfolded, with the wind dropping to a murmur and the warm night air refreshingly sweet. The setting at Peter and Annabel’s house near Tai Tapu was picture-perfect, with Annabel's stunning sculptures and paintings off-set against the rural setting outside. We had a good bunch of helpers to keep the night running smoothly, with Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust (headed up by Rick Menzies) staff in conjunction with our 50 South Trust and CIBE members—and of course Peter, Annabel and their helpers.

Everyone was well rewarded with beaut food (supplied by the Raspberry Café and local suppliers) and wine (the white gifted by our fond sponsors Mountford Wines), and a fun-filled evening of socialising with like-minded people interspersed with some great speeches.

And what a bunch of speakers we had. Expedition leader Colin Meurk drew us into the wonders of Campbell Island and introduced the expedition team. Don Merton, CIBE patron and saviour of so many of our native birds gave a fascinating talk about his career, while the indominable Ruud Kleinpaste had us wrapped up in the wonders of biodiversity and biomimicry. I had the questionable honour of having to follow Ruud’s class act but managed to hold my own with the nuts and bolts of how we will connect the world to Campbell Island and what we still need to get there. Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt had us all in stitches with his colourful account of his link to the Subantarctics (do a search on Auckland Island pigs to find out more) and Conservation Minister the Hon Kate Wilkinson was a star act who shared her passion for conservation (if not for spiders!) with us all.

The festivities carried on well into the evening (well we had to polish off more of that food and wine). It couldn’t have been a better night, and was the perfect way to share with others our CIBE plans and gather support for this worthy programme. Walking out to the car at the end of the night, through the warm spring breeze and surrounded with the night sounds of frogs and chirruping insects, Campbell Island felt that one step closer than before.

[Shelley McMurtrie]

Identification key published online
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key
EOS Ecology Campbell Island invertebrate key

The first ever interactive identification keys to the freshwater invertebrates of Campbell Island have been published online (McMurtrie, Sinton & Winterbourn, 2014).

The 2010 Bicentennial Expedition is now a distant memory but one that will ever remain in the hearts and minds of those of us who had the privilege of being involved. This key is only one of the planned outputs of one of the most comprehensive aquatic sampling programmes to ever take place on the island. We hope that it will be useful to all practitioners working in the Subantarctic.

Over that 2010/11 summer we collected aquatic invertebrates, periphyton, microbes, water quality, sediment quality, and stable isotope samples from 25 streams and 9 tarns, and sampled 34 tarns for water and sediment quality.

Despite a shaky start – you may remember that a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch only 11 days after our return – we have worked our way through the 235 benthic aquatic invertebrate samples collected to develop the invertebrate keys.

Working with Professor Mike Winterbourn of the University of Canterbury and taxonomists from around the world, we’ve been able to describe 36 different taxa in the key and associated information sheets. This includes one new species of worm (Macquaridrilus mcmurtrieae), which I have had the privilege of being named after me, thanks to the taxonomist that described it (Adrian Pinder from the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Western Australia). Out of this work we have also had new distribution records confirmed, and other possible new species pending confirmation via DNA work in the flatworm and nemertean groups.

Overall we found that Campbell Island’s streams and tarns are home to a moderately diverse range of freshwater invertebrate species, and that many of them are unique to the island. This is not surprising, considering its isolation and the harsh environment. But what is equally interesting was that the island does also plays host to some of the same species that are found on mainland New Zealand – such as the common caddisfly, Oxyethira albiceps despite the 700 km of southern oceans between the two.

We also discovered there is a very high diversity of aquatic oligochaetes (worms). We have only had 2% of the oligochaete specimens identified and already there are seventeen different taxa, so there is great potential for more new species or new records for the island. They do not form part of the identification key yet, as we will need more funding to go through the staggering number of oligochaetes that we found (almost 9000!). But with such funding we would be able to finally unravel the mysteries of this little known yet diverse and fascinating group (click here to find out more about the wonderful world of Campbell Island worms).

We are grateful to the many people that contributed to making this key come together, and to funding from TFBIS (Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) that is administered by the Department of Conservation.

The key can be accessed at www.ciinvertkey.com

Donations to the CIBE to further post-expedition outputs can be made here.

[Shelley McMurtrie]