Rehabilitation of Cuvier Island
- Department of Conservation, Auckland
170 ha Cuvier Island was used by pre-European Maoris as a hunting area, but apparently not lived on permanently. Early Europeans found a flora of typical coastal pohutukawa forest, and apparently intact forest avifauna and other fauna which has probably been modified by the introduced kiore. Goats were introduced at the time of, or shortly before, the establishment of a lighthouse and lighthouse keepers' farm in the 1900's. Domestic cats became feral. North Island saddleback, red-crowned parakeet and pied tit were eradicated and other species reduced in number. During World War II a radar station was established. A principally pohutukawa canopy remained over three quarters of the island. Goats and cats were eradicated between 1958 and 1960. Regeneration of the forest understorey was rapid. Saddlebacks and parakeets have been successfully re-introduced. Lighthouse keepers left in 1982. Planting of 1000 pohutukawa seedlings on the previously farmed area will be undertaken in August 1988.