From Rumble to Raoul. A biodiversity expedition to the Kermadec Islands, May 2011

Warren Chinn *1

1 Department of Conservation, Canterbury Conservancy, Private Bag 4715, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Kermadecs are a sub-tropical volcanic island arc 800-1000kms north of Tauranga, New Zealand. The group comprises sea mounts, stacks, rocks and forested islands and is the most remote reserve area managed by the Department of Conservation. This will be a pictorial presentation of a biodiversity expedition organised by the Auckland Museum which sailed on the research vessel RV Braveheart in May 2011. The aim was to visit each island along the Kermadec rise, culminating with Raoul and near islets. Landfall was attempted on as many locations as possible where invertebrate and plant collections were made, while dive surveys documented the marine life. Some of the islands are no larger than 100 metres in radius with bluffs, volcanic calderas and no fresh water. Entomological collecting on the Kermadecs has been irregular, with most specimens dating to a 1908 expedition and the majority from Raoul Island. Several of the Islands have not been collected from and some taxa may require new descriptions.

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