Major loss of biodiversity, landscape values, and history

Historic musterers' hut.
Historic musterers' hut.
Tussock ringlet butterfly
Tussock ringlet butterfly
Giant alpine dragonfly.
Giant alpine dragonfly.
Spear grasses and tussock on the track to Eldorado.
Spear grasses and tussock on the track to Eldorado.
Herbfield in the Black Rock Scientific Reserve.
Herbfield in the Black Rock Scientific Reserve.
Historic gold diggers' hut, Eldorado gold diggings.
Historic gold diggers' hut, Eldorado gold diggings.
NZ falcon.
NZ falcon.

The Te Papanui Conservation Reserve was established in 2003.

After cessation of grazing, tussocks there took a number of years to recover. Now a thousand hectares of the park has been destroyed: A fire has swept along the eastern side of the Lammermoor/Lammerlaw ranges, past the Eldorado gold diggings and over the Black Rock Scientific Reserve.

Cook's flax and narrow-leaved snow tussock will regenerate (as the recent fire on Flagstaff has demonstrated), and the area will slowly be reseeded from surrounding seed sources.

But gone for now is a rich varierty of subalpine flora and fauna, including falcons and pippits and their nests, and reptiles.

Gone for now are literally billions of invertebrates, including butterflies and tussock-litter dwelling spiders. Gone is a historic musterer's hut.

I include here some previously taken images, from the area now charred by fire.

 - Paul Smale

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