Snares Islands / Tini Heke

The snare Islands (English The snares or snares Islands Māori: Tini Heke ) are an uninhabited group of islands in the South Pacific. They belong to New Zealand and lies 200 km south of the South Island. The islands were called in English The Snares, because they represented a threat to the Marine (English: = snare trap).


The archipelago consists of the larger Northeast Iceland (2.8 km ², a maximum of 130 m above sea level ) with its small neighboring islands Broughton (86 m) and alert stack (40 m ) and the western chain ( Western Chain) with the islands Rima (44 m height ), Wha (37 m), Toru (45 m) ', Rua (29 m ), Tahi (33 m ) and the Vancouver rock. The snare islands have a total area of 3.28 km ². The mean annual temperature is 11 ° C and the average rainfall is 1200 mm.


The islands were discovered by accident on November 23, 1791 twice, - independently - by Captain George Vancouver on the ship HMS Discovery and Lieutenant William Robert Broughton on the ship HMS Chatham.

Animal and plant life

Large quantities of seabirds breed on the islands, including the sooty shearwater ( Puffinus griseus ) (about 3 million pairs) and the Buller Albatross ( Thalassarche bulleri ) and the Graurückenalbatros ( Thalassarche salvini ).

Endemic of the Snares Penguin ( Eudyptes robustus ), the Snares tomtit ( Petroica macrocephala dannefaerdi ), the Snares Farnsteiger are ( Bowdleria punctata caudata or Megalurus punctatus caudate ) and the Snares Snipe ( Coenocorypha aucklandica hilly ), a subspecies of the Aucklandschnepfe.

The Snares are one of the southernmost islands where trees grow.

A southern Buller Albatross breeds on the Penguin Slope

Endemic Snares penguins


The islands are a nature reserve since 1977 ( Snares Islands Nature Reserve ) and since 1998 part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. To preserve the unique flora and fauna, the New Zealand government has to enter the islands generally prohibited.