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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University of Wellington. Vol. 24, No. 5. 1961


Contributed by P. R. Wilson, a science student at Victoria University, who is a member of the Animal Ecology Division, D.S.I R. He studied introduced animals for (he Division during his stay on Campbell Island.

On December 27, 1960, H.M.N.Z. Endeavour sailed out of Wellington harbour with two scientific parties aboard.

I had the fortune to be a member of the party to disembark at Campbell Island. There were seven in our party.

The three botanists were concerned mainly with the mapping of the predominant vegetation types on the island and also collecting and preserving plants. One of them was involved in a little peat-boring.

The two marine biologists were concerned with collecting specimens from both fresh and salt water, and also studying intertidal relationships in the harbours and on the open coast (a somewhat hazardous job!).

The youngest member of their duo, a Canterbury University student, also did a little skin-diving, using a waterproof rubber suit and ample clothing underneath. His experiences with Elephant seals and a sea-lion did little to damper his enthusiasm.

The remaining two members, a wool biologist from Massey, and myself, from Animal Ecology Division, attempted to census the feral sheep population, and also to study interelationships between vegetation, sheep and nesting birds.

Five days after leaving Wellington we sailed slowly up Perseverance Harbour at Campbell Island. We had been almost have-to for one day at two-three days out, and during this time, and for the rest of the trip, we were thrown from one side of the mess to the other. Now and then one could see, up on deck, a courageous individual propped between two stays, staring with glazed eyes out to sea and making a poor job of looking as if he was watching birds.

As soon as the ship dropped anchor the Met. Station's boat pulled alongside and greetings were exchanged. The Met. boys looked as if they had been through a rougher sea than us (it was New Year's Day).