Management Plan for Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No. 130 TRAMWAY RIDGE, MT. EREBUS, ROSS ISLAND

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1 Management Plan for Antarctc Specally Protected Area (ASPA) No. 130 TRAMWAY RIDGE, MT. EREBUS, ROSS ISLAND 1. Descrpton of values to be protected The lower end of Tramway Rdge was orgnally desgnated n Recommendaton XIII-8 (1985, SSSI No. 11) after a proposal by New Zealand on the grounds that the Area supports an unusual ecosystem of exceptonal scentfc value to botansts, phycologsts and mcrobologsts. Mt. Erebus (3794 m) s one of only three known hgh alttude localtes of fumarolc actvty and assocated vegetaton n the Antarctc (Mt Erebus, Mt Melbourne and Mt Rttman). Tramway Rdge s an ce-free area of gently slopng warm ground 1.5 km to the Northwest of the man crater of Mt. Erebus, located at an elevaton of between 3350 m and 3400 m. The area has sgnfcant gas emsson and ts sol has the hghest surface temperatures on Mt Erebus, makng t of nterest to volcanologsts as well as bologsts. The sngle, as yet undentfed, moss speces found n the Area s unusual n that t perssts n the protonematal stage. An unusual varety of a common thermophlc cyanobacterum s especally noteworthy. The plant communtes whch have developed on the fumarolc sols wthn the Area dffer sgnfcantly from those found elsewhere n Antarctca. The regonal unqueness of the communtes s of substantal scentfc nterest and value. The very lmted geographcal extent of the ecosystem, ts unusual bologcal features, ts exceptonal scentfc values and the ease wth whch t could be dsturbed through tramplng or alen ntroductons, are such that the Area requres long-term specal protecton. 2. Ams and objectves Management at Tramway Rdge ams to: avod degradaton of, or substantal rsk to, the values of the Area; prevent unnecessary human dsturbance to the Area; permt research on the unque physcal envronment and assocated vegetaton and mcrobal communtes whle ensurng they are protected from over-samplng; mnmse the possblty of ntroducton of alen plants, anmals and mcrobes to the Area; preserve a part of the Area, whch s declared a Prohbted Zone, as a reference ste for future studes; permt vsts for management purposes n support of the objectves of the management plan. 3. Management actvtes The followng management actvtes are to be undertaken to protect the values of the Area: 1

2 Durable wnd drecton ndcators should be erected close to the desgnated helcopter landng ste whenever t s antcpated there wll be a number of landngs near the Area n a gven season. These should be replaced as needed and removed when no longer requred. Markers, whch should be clearly vsble from the ar and pose no sgnfcant threat to the envronment, should be placed to mark the helcopter landng pad. A lne of flags should be placed to mark the preferred snowmoble route (Map A) between the USAP Upper and Lower Erebus Huts, whch should pass no closer than 200 m to the Area. Sgns llustratng the locaton, boundares and clearly statng entry restrctons shall be placed on posts markng the boundares of the Area. Sgns showng the locaton of the Area (statng the specal restrctons that apply) shall be dsplayed promnently, and a copy of ths Management Plan should be kept avalable, n all of the research hut facltes located close to the summt of Mt. Erebus. Markers, sgns or structures erected wthn the Area for scentfc or management purposes shall be mantaned n good condton. Vsts shall be made as necessary to assess whether the Area contnues to serve the purposes for whch t was desgnated and to ensure management and mantenance measures are adequate. Natonal Antarctc Programmes operatng n the regon shall consult together wth a vew to ensurng these steps are carred out. 4. Perod of desgnaton Desgnated for an ndefnte perod. 5. Maps and photographs Map A: Tramway Rdge, Mt. Erebus, locaton mage map. Image s rectfed by affne transformaton and scale s approxmate. Photography USGS/DOSLI (SN7842) 11 November Map B: Tramway Rdge, Mt. Erebus, locaton contour map. Contours are derved from a dgtal elevaton model generated usng a 10 m grd for the orthophotograph n Map A. Precse area of warm ground s subject to varaton seasonally and nter-annually. Map C: Tramway Rdge, ste mage map. Orthophoto and protected area boundary coordnates are ted to the Camp Area Plane Datum 1981, a local framework, usng the WGS72 spherod. Precse GPS coordnates for the ste wll dffer: these were unavalable at the tme of mappng. Photography US Navy (SN6480) 9 February Map D: Tramway Rdge, ste contour map. Contours are derved from a dgtal elevaton model generated usng a 10 m grd for the orthophotograph n Map B: accuracy ± 2m. Precse area of warm ground s subject to varaton seasonally and nter-annually. 2

3 Map A - Tramway Rdge, Mt Erebus: Antarctc Specally Managed Area 130 locaton mage-map

4 Map Tramway Rdge, Mt. Erebus : Antarctc Specally Managed Area 130 locaton contour map.

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8 Fgure 1: Perspectve vew of the Tramway Rdge area from an elevaton of 6200 m, 5000 m out from the Area at a bearng of 215 SW, showng the protected area boundary, the locaton of the USAP Erebus huts, and the preferred helcopter landng ste and snowmoble route. Image source: Map A. 6. Descrpton of the Area 6() Geographcal coordnates, boundary markers and natural features The boundary of the desgnated Area s defned as a square of 200 m by m whch encompasses most of the warm ground area of lower Tramway Rdge (167 06'35"E, 77 31'05"S: Map B). The Area s dvded nto two parts of almost equal sze, the northern half beng a Prohbted Zone. The boundares of the Area and the Prohbted Zone (marked by sgnposts at each corner) and promnent features are shown on Map B. Several boundary sgnposts have been offset owng to dangerous ground at the actual corner pont. The Area s n general on a gentle slope of about 5, wth much of the ce-free ground n the form of terraces whch have a typcal vertcal heght of about 0.5 m and steeper sdes of up to 30 n slope. The steep sdes of the terraces have the maxmum development of crusts of vegetaton, and t s from these sdes that vsble steam emssons occur. Vsble vegetaton covers about 16% of the Area. Low ce hummocks of up to about 1 m hgh are dstrbuted over the Area where steam has frozen. Surface ground temperatures are up to about 75 C. The steam-warmed lthosols n the Area provde an unusual habtat of lmted extent. The acd reacton of the sols, the constant supply of mosture by condensaton of steam and the regular supply of geothermal heat produce condtons whch contrast markedly wth most Antarctc sols. There s no evdence of the presence of mcronvertebrate anmals n the sols. The vegetaton comprses protonematal moss and dverse mcroalgae, whch has developed on the fumarolc sols and dffers sgnfcantly from other Antarctc plant communtes. The sngle moss speces, Campylopus pyrforms, s unusual n that t has never been seen to produce leaves but perssts n the protonematal stage. The vegetaton occurs n zones related to surface temperature. Warmest ground, from about 35 to 60 C, s colonsed by dark blue-green and reddsh-brown mats of cyanobactera, whereas cooler surfaces of about 10 to 30 C are domnated by green crusts of coccod chlorophytes and moss protonema. Bare ground lackng a macroscopcally vsble vegetaton occurs between 0 and 20 C. The algal flora comprses sx cyanobactera and fve chlorophytes. The presence of a thermophlc cyanobacterum s especally noteworthy as t s an unusual varety of the hot sprng cyanobacterum Mastgocladus lamnosus, whch s common elsewhere n the world. Thermophlc bactera have been solated at 60 C. These nclude heterotrophc and a thosulfate-utlsng autotrophc speces. 3

9 6() Prohbted, restrcted or managed zones wthn the Area The northern half of the Area s desgnated a Prohbted Zone n order to preserve part of the Area as a reference ste for future comparatve studes, whle the southern half of the Area (whch s essentally smlar n bology, features and character) s avalable for research programmes and sample collecton. The south boundary of the Prohbted Zone s defned by a lne that bsects the Area nto two halves (Map B), and s marked at both ends by sgnposts. Ths boundary may be dentfed on the ground approxmately as an extenson westwards of the south rdge lne of lower Tramway Rdge. The other three boundares of the Prohbted Zone are defned by the boundares of the Area. Access to the Prohbted Zone s strctly prohbted untl such tme t s agreed by management plan revew that access should be allowed. 6() Structures wthn and near the Area Sgnposts mark the corner ponts of the boundares. The USAP Lower and Upper Erebus Huts are located approxmately 1 km to the Northeast (3400 m) and Southeast ( m) respectvely. 6(v) Locaton of other ASPAs wthn close proxmty of the Area The closest ASPAs are the hstorc huts at Cape Evans (ASPA No. 154) and Cape Royds (ASPA No. 156) approxmately 20 km south west. 7. Permt condtons Permts may be ssued only by approprate natonal authortes as desgnated under Artcle 7 of Annex V to the Protocol on Envronmental Protecton to the Antarctc Treaty. Condtons for ssung a Permt to enter the Area are that: t s ssued only for scentfc study of the ecosystem, or for a compellng scentfc or management purpose that cannot be served elsewhere; access to the Prohbted Zone shall be prohbted; the actons permtted are not lkely to jeopardse the natural ecologcal system or scentfc values of the Area; any management actvtes are n support of the objectves of the Management Plan; the actons permtted are n accordance wth the Management Plan; any Permt ssued shall be vald for a stated perod. 7() Access to and movement wthn the Area Landng of helcopters wthn the Area s strctly prohbted. Helcopter overflght of the Area should be avoded, except for essental scentfc or management purposes when helcopters shall n no nstance fly lower than 50 m above the ground surface of the Area. Use of helcopter smoke bombs s strctly prohbted wthn 200 m of the Area. For short-duraton vsts whch do not requre camp establshment, access by helcopter should be to a desgnated landng ste, located outsde of the Area and 300 m to the Northwest (Map A and Fgure 1). For vsts whch requre camp establshment, helcopter access should be to the USAP Upper or Lower Erebus Huts, and 4

10 thence on foot or by land vehcle to the edge of the Area at Tramway Rdge. Landng of helcopters at other stes close to the Area s strongly dscouraged. Only those persons specfcally authorsed by Permt are allowed to enter the Area. No specal restrctons apply to the ar or land routes used to move to and from the Area, although those travelng between the Upper and Lower Erebus Huts should keep to the preferred snowmoble route and, wherever practcable, stay at least 200 m from the protected area boundary. Access nto the Area shall be on foot and land vehcles are prohbted. Vstors should avod walkng on vsble vegetaton and, as far as practcable, areas of warm ground. Vstors should be aware that walkng n the Area can compact sol, alter temperature gradents (whch may change rates of steam release), and break thn ce crusts whch may form over warm ground, wth resultng damage to sol and bota below. The presence of snow or ce surfaces s not a guaranteed ndcaton of a sutable pathway: therefore every reasonable effort should be made to mnmse the effects of walkng actvty. Pedestran traffc should be kept to the mnmum necessary consstent wth the objectves of any permtted actvtes. 7() Actvtes that are or may be conducted n the Area, ncludng restrctons on tme or place Scentfc research whch wll not jeopardse the ecosystem of the Area Essental management actvtes, ncludng montorng Entry to the Prohbted Zone s prohbted. 7() Installaton, modfcaton or removal of structures No structures, except boundary markers and sgns, are to be erected wthn the Area except as specfed n a Permt. All scentfc equpment nstalled n the Area must be approved by Permt and clearly dentfed by country, name of the prncpal nvestgator and year of nstallaton. All such tems should be made of materals that pose mnmal rsk of contamnaton of the Area. Removal of specfc equpment for whch the Permt has expred shall be the responsblty of the authorty whch granted the orgnal Permt. 7(v) Locaton of feld camps Campng requred for work n the Area should be near the exstng USAP Upper or Lower Erebus Hut stes, and s dscouraged anywhere wthn 500 m of the boundares of the Area (Map A). 7(v) Restrctons on materals and organsms whch can be brought nto the Area To avod compromsng the mcrobal ecosystem for whch ths ste s protected no lvng anmals, plant materal or mcroorgansms shall be delberately ntroduced nto the Area and precautons shall be taken aganst accdental ntroductons. No herbcdes or pestcdes shall be brought nto the Area. Any other chemcals, ncludng rado-nucldes or stable sotopes, whch may be ntroduced for scentfc or management purposes specfed n the Permt, shall be removed from the Area at or before the concluson of the actvty for whch the Permt was granted. 5

11 Fuels are not to be brought nto the Area. Food shall not be consumed wthn the Area. Equpment and other materals are not to be stored n the Area, unless requred for essental purposes connected wth the actvty for whch the Permt has been granted. All such materals ntroduced shall be for a stated perod only, shall be removed at or before the concluson of that stated perod, and shall be stored and handled so that rsk of ther ntroducton nto the envronment s mnmsed. 7(v) Takng of or harmful nterference wth natve flora or fauna Takng of or harmful nterference wth natve flora or fauna s prohbted, except n accordance wth a Permt. Where takng of anmals or harmful nterference s nvolved ths should be n accordance wth the SCAR Code of Conduct for the Use of Anmals for Scentfc Purposes n Antarctca, as a mnmum standard. 7(v) Collecton or removal of anythng not brought nto the Area by the Permt holder Materal may be collected or removed from the Area only n accordance wth a Permt. Materal of human orgn, not brought nto the Area by the Permt Holder, but whch s lkely to compromse the values of the Area may be removed from any part of the Area, ncludng the Prohbted Zone. 7(v) Dsposal of waste All wastes, ncludng all human wastes, must be removed from the Area. Excreton of human wastes s prohbted wthn the Area. 7(x) Measures that are necessary to ensure that the ams and objectves of the Management Plan can contnue to be met 1. The Permt, or an authorsed copy, must be carred wthn the Antarctc Specally Protected Area. 2. Permts may be granted to enter the Area to carry out bologcal or physcal montorng and ste nspecton actvtes, whch may nvolve the collecton of small samples for analyss or audt, to erect or mantan sgnposts, or protectve measures. 3. To help mantan the scentfc value derved from the unque communtes found at Tramway Rdge vstors shall take specal precautons aganst ntroductons, especally when vstng several thermal regons n a season. Of partcular concern are mcrobal or vegetaton ntroductons sourced from: thermal areas, both Antarctc and non-antarctc; sols at any other Antarctc stes, ncludng those near statons; sols from regons outsde Antarctca. To ths end, vstors shall take the followng measures to mnmse the rsk of ntroductons: (a) Any samplng equpment or markers brought nto the Area shall be sterlsed and mantaned n a sterle condton before beng used wthn the Area. To the maxmum extent practcable, 6

12 (b) (c) footwear and other equpment used or brought nto the Area (ncludng backpacks or carrybags) shall be thoroughly cleaned or sterlsed and mantaned n ths condton before enterng the Area; Sterlsaton should be by an acceptable method, such as by UV lght, autoclave or by washng exposed surfaces n 70% ethanol soluton n water. Sterle protectve overclothng shall be worn. The overclothng shall be sutable for workng at temperatures of -20 C or below and comprse at a mnmum sterle overalls to cover arms, legs and body and sterle gloves sutable for placng over the top of cold-weather gloves. 7(x) Requrements for reports Partes shall ensure that the prncpal holder for each Permt ssued submts to the approprate authorty a report descrbng the actvtes undertaken. Such reports should nclude, as approprate, the nformaton dentfed n the Vst Report Form suggested by SCAR. Partes shall mantan a record of such actvtes and, n the Annual Exchange of Informaton, shall provde summary descrptons of actvtes conducted by persons subject to ther jursdcton, n suffcent detal to allow evaluaton of the effectveness of the Management Plan. Partes should, wherever possble, depost orgnals or copes of such reports n a publcly accessble archve to mantan a record of usage, to be used both for revew of the Management Plan and n organsng the scentfc use of the ste. 8. Bblography Bargagl, R., Broady, P.A., Walton, D.W.H Prelmnary nvestgaton of the thermal bosystem of Mount Rttman fumaroles (Northern Vctora Land, Antarctca). Antarctc Scence, 8, (2), Broady, P.A Sols heated by volcansm. Antarctc Mcrobology, ed. Fredmann, E.I. Wley, New York, Broady, P.A., Greenfeld, L.G., Gven, D. and Thompson, K The bota and envronment of fumaroles on Mount Melbourne, northern Vctora Land. Polar Bology, 7, Broady, P.A Taxonomc and ecologcal nvestgatons of algae on steam-warmed sol on Mt Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctca. Phycologa, 23, (3), Melck, D.R., Broady, P.A., Rowan, K.S Morphologcal and physologcal characterstcs of a non-heterocystous stran of the cyanobacterum Mastgocladus lamnosus Cohn from fumarolc sol on Mt Erebus, Antarctca. Polar Bology, 11, (2), Sheppard D.S. Le Guern F. Chrstenson B.W Compostons and mass fluxes of the Mount Erebus volcanc plume. Volcanologcal and envronmental studes of Mount Erebus, Antarctca. Antarctc research seres 66. Washngton, Amercan Geophyscal Unon. Skotnck ML, Selkrk PM, Broady PA, Adam KD, Nnham JA Dspersal of the moss Campylopus pyrforms on geothermal ground near the summts of Mount Erebus and Mount Melbourne, Vctora Land, Antarctca. Antarctc Scence, 13, (3),

13 Lesser MP, Barry TM, Banaszak AT Effects of UV radaton on a chlorophyte alga (Scenedesmus sp.) solated from the fumarole felds of Mt. Erebus, Antarctca. Journal of Phycology 38:

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