The Southern Fiordland Initiative seeks to understand how one of New Zealand's most iconic places is being impacted by climate change.
Fiordland is one of Aotearoa’s most iconic places. It is internationally recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site and is treasured both nationally and internationally. And yet, due to its remote location, it is also one of the least studied, and poorly understood ecosystems in the world. Invaluable local knowledge tells us that the Fiords are changing, but the data to quantify this change, and determine its impacts are absent.
The Southern Fiordland Initiative (SFI) is a national collaboration between local guardians, scientists, and citizen scientists, focussed on answering two key questions; What are the climatic conditions and ecosystem health of the Fiords right now? And how are they changing? we plan to:
1. Establish long-term climate change monitoring stations
2. Establish a citizen-science based habitat mapping program
3. Create a long-term deep and shallow water monitoring program
4. Establish research programs on two iconic indicator species of Fiordland, the black coral Antipathella fiordensis, and the ancient seven-gill shark, Notorynchus cepedianus
5. Study the ecologically important sponges in Fiordland (including recent bleaching).
The Southern Fiordland Initiative will greatly enhance our understanding of southern Fiordland, generating information and data that will support future management and conservation. We need your help to achieve our vision, please consider supporting our project
We acknowledge @seaecology for our picture of a snake star on a black coral
The Victoria University of Wellington Foundation manages donations to support projects of strategic importance to the University.
We are currently looking for funding to support our next expedition to Fiordland to conduct our research and monitoring.