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SCAR BULLETIN, No. 151, October 2003

Management Plan for Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) No. 130
Tramway Ridge, Mt. Erebus, Ross Island

1. Description of values to be protected

Tramway Ridge is an ice-free area of gently sloping warm ground 1.5 km to the Northwest of the main crater of Mt. Erebus, located at an elevation of between 3350 m and 3400 m. The area has significant gas emission and its soil has the highest surface temperatures on Mt Erebus, making it of interest to volcanologists as well as biologists.
The single, as yet unidentified, moss species found in the Area is unusual in that it persists in the protonematal stage. An unusual variety of a common thermophilic cyanobacterium is especially noteworthy.

2. Aims and objectives

Management at Tramway Ridge aims to:

3. Management activities

Durable wind direction indicators should be erected close to the designated helicopter landing site and be removed when no longer required.

4. Period of designation
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Designated for an indefinite period.

5. Maps and photographs
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Map A: Tramway Ridge, Mt. Erebus, location image map.
Map B: Tramway Ridge, Mt. Erebus, location contour map.
Map C: Tramway Ridge, site image map.
Map D: Tramway Ridge, site contour map.
Figure 1: Perspective view of the Tramway Ridge area.

6. Description of the Area
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6(i) Geographical coordinates, boundary markers and natural features
The boundary of the designated Area is defined as a square of 200 m by 200.8 m which encompasses most of the warm ground area of lower Tramway Ridge (167°06’35"E, 77°31’05"S: Map B). The Area is divided into two parts of almost equal size, the northern half being a Prohibited Zone. The boundaries of the Area and the Prohibited Zone (marked by signposts at each corner) and prominent features are shown on Map B. Several boundary signposts have been offset owing to dangerous ground at the actual corner point.
The steam-warmed lithosols in the Area provide an unusual habitat of limited extent. There is no evidence of the presence of microinvertebrate animals in the soils. The vegetation comprises protonematal moss and diverse microalgae, which has developed on the fumarolic soils and differs significantly from other Antarctic plant communities. The algal flora comprises six cyanobacteria and five chlorophytes.

6(ii) Prohibited, restricted or managed zones within the Area

The northern half of the Area is designated a Prohibited Zone in order to preserve part of the Area as a reference site for future comparative studies, while the southern half of the Area (which is essentially similar in biology, features and character) is available for research programmes and sample collection.

6(iii) Structures within and near the Area

Signposts mark the corner points of the boundaries. The USAP Lower and Upper Erebus Huts are located approximately 1 km to the Northeast (3400 m) and Southeast (3612.5 m) respectively.

6(iv) Location of other ASPAs within close proximity of the Area
The closest ASPAs are the historic huts at Cape Evans (ASPA No. 154) and Cape Royds (ASPA No. 156) approximately 20 km south west.

7. Permit conditions
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Permits may be issued only by appropriate national authorities as designated under Article 7 of Annex V to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

7(i) Access to and movement within the Area

Landing of helicopters within the Area is strictly prohibited. Helicopter overflight of the Area should be avoided. Use of helicopter smoke bombs is strictly prohibited within 200 m of the Area. Access into the Area shall be on foot and land vehicles are prohibited. Visitors should avoid walking on visible vegetation and areas of warm ground.

7(ii) Activities that are or may be conducted in the Area, including restrictions on time or place

Scientific research which will not jeopardise the ecosystem of the Area
Essential management activities, including monitoring
Entry to the Prohibited Zone is prohibited.

7(iii) Installation, modification or removal of structures
No structures, except boundary markers and signs, are to be erected within the Area except as specified in a Permit.

7(iv) Location of field camps
Camping required for work in the Area should be near the existing USAP Upper or Lower Erebus Hut sites.

7(v) Restrictions on materials and organisms which can be brought into the Area

No living animals, plant material or microorganisms shall be deliberately introduced into the Area and precautions shall be taken against accidental introductions. No herbicides or pesticides shall be brought into the Area. Any other chemicals, including radio-nuclides or stable isotopes shall be removed from the Area. Fuels are not to be brought into the Area. Food shall not be consumed within the Area. Equipment and other materials are not to be stored in the Area.

7(vi) Taking of or harmful interference with native flora or fauna
Taking of or harmful interference with native flora or fauna is prohibited, except in accordance with a Permit.

7(vii) Collection or removal of anything not brought into the Area by the Permit holder

Material may be collected or removed from the Area only in accordance with a Permit.

7(viii) Disposal of waste

All wastes, including all human wastes, must be removed from the Area. Excretion of human wastes is prohibited within the Area.

7(ix) Measures that are necessary to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Management Plan can continue to be met

Any sampling equipment or markers brought into the Area shall be sterilised and maintained in a sterile condition before being used within the Area. To the maximum extent practicable, footwear and other equipment used or brought into the Area (including backpacks or carry-bags) shall be thoroughly cleaned or sterilised and maintained in this condition before entering the Area;
Sterile protective overclothing shall be worn.

7(x) Requirements for reports
Parties shall ensure that the principal holder for each Permit issued submits to the appropriate authority a report describing the activities undertaken.

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