Mahaka Katia Scientific Reserve (Pisa Flats).

Saturday 1st of October 2022, 08:00 AM (2 months from now)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

Mahaka Katia Scientific Reserve (Pisa Flats) is situated on an elevated terrace above Lake Dunstan just north of Cromwell. It is a unique example of Central Otago dryland habitat that has mostly been lost to agricultural development and residential subdivision. Pisa Flats is one of the few remaining places where populations of a number of rare, native, dryland endemic species can still be found. These include Raoulia monroi, Lepidium solandri, Convolvulus verecundus and Myosotis uniflora. This Myosotis species is classified as At Risk – Naturally Uncommon and the yellow-flowered form is more or less confined to the Pisa Flats. We are timing our visit to hopefully coincide with its spring flowering. If we have time, we will possibly visit the saline sites at Springvale Scientific Reserve or the Chapman Road Reserve both near Alexandra to look at Central Otago spring annuals, a suite of dryland species that includes Myosotis brevis, and the tiny buttercup relatives, Ceratocephala pungens and Myosurus minimus.

We will meet at the Botany Department carpark at 8.00 am and travel to Cromwell and then on to the Reserve. Bring lunch, warm clothing, rain gear and suitable footwear. Travel time from Dunedin to Cromwell is approximately 3 hrs. Contact David Lyttle (email djl1yttleATgmail.com Ph (03) 454 5470).