Some of Northland’s most spectacular natural features are highlighted in a new report on the natural features of the Manaia Ecological District.
The report is the first comprehensive review of the natural areas within the district, and includes the Whangarei Heads peninsula from Kauri Mountain and The Nook in the north, to Mount Manaia, Mount Aubrey, Taurikura Bush, and also Bream Head and Ocean Beach at the southern end.
Manaia Ecological District is unique within Northland, including the spectacular rocky outcrops of Bream Head and Mount Manaia, and the longest area of coastline of any ecological district in Northland, with sheltered, rocky bays and extensive dunelands and sandfields at Ocean Beach.
Manaia Ecological District contains a high diversity of native plants and animals, including two species found nowhere else in the world. There are high numbers of rare and threatened species including kākā, kākāriki and bellbird, which travel from the Hen and Chicken islands as well as rare habitat types. Coastal forests and shrublands are the dominant vegetation types; other significant habitats include gumland and coastal dunes.
“While just over half of the natural areas in the Manaia Ecological District are formally protected in reserves or covenants, this report has identified further protection priorities including additional areas of coastal forest and shrubland, gumland and critical buffers and linkages,” says Department of Conservation spokesperson Wendy Holland.
Local residents and the Whangarei community take a tremendous pride in the natural assets and biodiversity present in Manaia Ecological District. There has been a groundswell in community-based conservation, such as the many landcare groups coordinated by the Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum and the formation of the Bream Head Conservation Trust.
This report is an invaluable tool to assist landowners, iwi and agencies with identifying important natural areas. The Department also provides funding to assist landowners with protection of these special places.
The report is available from the Northland Conservancy office in Whangarei and will be available on line shortly.
Northland Conservancy ecological districts survey reports