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NZ's First Private Galaxiid Sanctuary Opens

Spec Creek Sanctuary Near Naseby an NZ First

DOC Staff & Local School Children at Spec Creek
Geoff Marks

The Ranfurly district is home to a nationally endangered species called the Central Otago Roundhead galaxias (Galaxias anomalous). This small fish is found only in the Upper Taiari | Taieri catchment and in a few streams of the Manuherekia catchment.

Spec Creek, a tributary of the Kyeburn, is one of the best places in the world to find Central Otago roundheads - its naturally low flow means that few trout find their way up into the creek, and water quality in the stream is generally high.

Thanks to the vision and collaboration between two high country farmers and the support of Tiaki Maniototo, New Zealand's first private galaxiid sanctuary has opened. Phil Smith of Glenspec and Hamish MacKenzie of Kyeburn station have fenced off a stretch of Spec Creek on their properties, creating a corridor from which cattle will be excluded. In order to do so, Phil has had to install a stock water system to compensate for the loss of stock access. They've also created a carpark and a kiosk for signs. Willows will be controlled in the sanctuary and trout periodically removed.

The new sanctuary is a worthy detour from the Otago Central Rail Trail, or a great place to visit on a road trip along the Central Otago Touring Route, or a point of interest on a backcountry ride to Dansey's Pass.

Spec Creek Galaxiid Sanctuary

A new 1km nature walk with interpretive panels has been installed at Spec Creek.

Department of Conservation staff catch galaxiid to show local school children at the Sanctuary opening.

Spec Creek is about 6km from Naseby on the Dansey's Pass Road. (Topo Map courtesy of LINZ - Crown Copyright Reserved)

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