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Managing our Environment

Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area

Description:

Salt pan area on low terrace near Belmont. 1

Type/Class:

Inland saline 2

Size:

20.4 ha

Altitude:

380-400 m above sea level.

Approximate location:

South of the intersection of Puketoi Road and Puketoi Runs Road, Ranfurly.
NZTM (centre point): E1358160 N4980950

Regional Plan:

Water for Otago
Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.6, Map F22.

Territorial Authority:

Central Otago District Council

 

Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area

Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area

Recorded Values:

Value

Description

A1

Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities.
Presence of nationally critical saltgrass Puccinellia raroflorens and naturally uncommon Atriplex buchananii. 2

A5

Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Wetland scarce in terms of ecological character: one of only two sites at which the salt tolerant plant glasswort (Sarcocornia quinqueflora) is recorded in Central Otago. Other saline-soil plants present and a distinctive salt-adapted moth fauna. 14
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

  • Diversity of native halophytic Atriplex buchananii, which has a threat status of naturally uncommon, and rekoreko (Selliera radicans). 2

  • Part of the area includes a QEII covenant. 4

  • Halophyte, threatened or unusual flora: Hordeum spp., Kirk’s scurvy grass (Lepidium kirkii) with a threat status of nationally critical, New Zealand mousetail (Myosurus minimus subsp. novae-zelandiae) with a threat status of nationally critical, salt grass (Puccinellia stricta), glasswort (Sarcocornia quinqueflora), three-square (Schoenoplectus pungens) and Selliera microphylla. 8

  • Important invertebrate fauna include Eurythecta zelaea, Orocrambus corruptus, Paranotoreas fulva. 8

  • The plant community has been described as hollows that remain from old oxbows, containing zones of three-square (Schoenoplectus pungens)/smooth meadow grass (Poa pratensis), creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera)/squirrel-tail Grass (Hordeum jubatum) and reflexed salt grass (Puccinellia distans). Adjacent bare salty soil carries glasswort (Sarcocornia quinqueflora). 8

  • The Department of Conservation considers the Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area to be a very important site for biological conservation. On a scale from 1 (highest value) to 11 (lowest value) the site was given a rank of 2, 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

  • Threats to the Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area include the immediate threat of stock grazing, trampling and nutrient transfer. Potential threats include fire, fertiliser application, invasion by exotic plant species, oversowing and direct drilling. 8

  • Listed in the Central Otago District Plan as an Area of Significant Indigenous Vegetation, Habitats of Indigenous Fauna and Wetlands. 55

 

Aerial View of Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (March 2005)

Aerial View of Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (March 2005)

 

Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (Date unknown)

Belmont Inland Saline Wetland Management Area (Date unknown) 94

 

References

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.

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

94 Department of Conservation – Photo Archive.

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