The Southern Fiordland Initiative - help us to understand how Fiordland is changing

$115 of $20,000 goal
Given by 3 generous donors in around 9 months

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

About us

The Victoria University of Wellington Foundation manages donations to support projects of strategic importance to the University.

Use of funds

We are currently looking for funding to support our next expedition to Fiordland to conduct our research and monitoring.

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Latest update

Next SFI Trip planned  18 January 2023

We have confirmed that the next SFI trip will take place in May 2023, and we are still looking for funding to help support our research.

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Latest donations

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Guest Donor on 26 Jul 2022
All the best guys
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Guest Donor on 21 Jul 2022
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Who's involved?

Victoria University of Wellington Foundation's avatar
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This campaign started on 9 Jul 2022 and ended on 18 Apr 2023.