Conroys Dam Inland Saline Wetland Management Area

Description: Salt pan on planar valley footslope adjacent to Conroys Dam. 1

Type/Class: Inland saline. 2

Size: 17.5 ha

Altitude: 260 - 300 m above sea level

Approximate location: 1 km Southwest of the intersection of Sheephead Station Road and Conroys Road, Alexandra | NZTM (centre point): E1311300 N4979300

Regional Plan: Water for Otago | Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.30, Map F16

Territorial Authority: Central Otago District Council

Recorded Values:




Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Presence of the threatened plants Lepidium kirkii, and Crassula tetramera. 1


Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Scarce wetland type. One of few truly saline soil types (very high conductivity), and alkaline. Distinctive salt-adapted moth fauna present. 1 Less than 18% of inland saline areas remain in Otago. 2

 A2 - A4, A6 - A9

 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.

Other Information:

  • The Conroys Dam Inland Saline Wetland Management Area is a key site for spring annuals, Ceratocephalus pungens, mousetail (Myosurus minimus), Myosotis pygmaea var. minutifolia, and Crassula tetramera. 4
  • There is an area of overlap between two species of Chafer beetle, Prodontria modesta and P. bicolorata, which occurs in the area of Earnscleugh Station between Fraser Dam Road and Conroys Dam. 15
  • Soil is classified as Saline Solonetzic Semiarid Soil. 8
  • Other halophyte species include Atriplex buchananii which has a threat status of naturally uncommon and exotic Puccinellia fasciculata. 8
  • Invertebrate species recorded include Capua semiferana, Eudonia sabulosella, Eurythecta zelaea, Kiwaia thyraula, Loxostege sp. nov., Orocrambus corruptus, and Paranotoreas fulva. 8
  • The Department of Conservation considers the Conroys Dam Inland Saline Wetland Management Area to be moderately important site for biological conservation. On a scale from 1 (highest value) to 11 (lowest value) the site was given a rank of 8, on the basis of its geographical extent, relative representativeness (the extent to which the site represents the assumed 1840 condition), diversity and rarity of biota and soils. 8
  • Potential threats include roadworks, erosion, fertiliser and oversowing. 8
  • Listed as an Area of Significant Indigenous Vegetation, Habitats of Indigenous Fauna and Wetlands in the Central Otago District Plan. 55


Aerial View of Conroys Dam Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (March 2006)



Conroys Dam Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (October 2007)



1 Otago Regional Council (2004) Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Published by the Otago Regional Council, Dunedin.

2 Ausseil, A.G., Newsome, P., Johnson, P. (2008) Wetland Mapping in the Otago Region. Landcare Research Contract Report prepared for the Otago Regional Council.

4 Peat, N. and Patrick, B. H. (1999) Wild Central. Discovering the natural history of Central Otago. Published by the University of Otago Press, Dunedin.

8 Allen, R.B. and McIntosh, P.D. (1997) Guidelines for conservation of salt pans in Central Otago. Science for Conservation: 49. Published by the Department of Conservation, Wellington.

15 Land Information New Zealand (1995) Crown Pastoral Land Tenure Review: Earnscleugh Pastoral Lease. Conservation Resources Report for the Commissioner of Crown Lands. Published by Land Information New Zealand, Wellington.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

55 Central Otago District Council (2008) Central Otago District Plan, Published by Central Otago District Council, Alexandra.

Page last updated 9 July 2024.