Story: South Canterbury region

The impact of lupins

The impact of lupins

Russell lupins were introduced in the Mackenzie Basin in the 1940s from sowings or ‘garden escapees’. Although beautiful, they modify the ecosystems of braided rivers. Wading birds such as the wrybill require shallow braids to feed in. The lupins stabilise river gravels, forcing the river to form deep, rapid channels unsuitable for birds. Deep stands of lupins also shade and displace native plants, such as the woodrush. This is the lower Hooker River valley.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'South Canterbury region - Climate, vegetation and wildlife', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2022)

Story by John Wilson, updated 1 Feb 2017