The Snares (Tini Heke):
This archipelago of islands is located 200 kilometres south-west of New Zealand. It is made up of eight islands including several islets and rock stacks. Their value is apparent when we consider that there are more birds nesting on the islands than there are seabirds in the British Islands. A large number of sooty shearwaters nest on the island in volumes so large that it is said the islands surface is much like a sponge, with the burrows of these birds representing the ‘pores’. It’s easy to understand why the Department of Conservation are so eager to reduce the number of people that visit the island, instead limiting the non-scientific community to circling the islands in small boats. Researchers must obtain permits, which are still reasonably difficult to obtain.