Southland is the southernmost region of New Zealand, covering over 3.1 million hectares and spanning over 3,400 km of coast. Weather conditions in Southland are cooler than other regions of New Zealand. Broady speaking there are three main climatic zones, the temperate oceanic climate of the coastal region, the continental climate of the interior and the wetter climate of Fiordland, to the west. The mean daily temperature varies from 5.2°C in July to 14.9°C in January. Rainfall varies from 900 mm to 1300 mm annually with rainfall being more frequent in coastal areas. The Southland plains are comprised mostly of brown, pallic and some recent soils, the product of river deposits. Fiordland soils are podzolised gley and organic soils, but large areas on the summits of the ranges are alpine bare rock, scree and ice.
Below: DNA has already been collected from 185 soil samples located at 37 sites in the Southland region