Date: 08 July 2009
Some of Northland’s most spectacular natural features are highlighted in a new report on the natural features of the Kaipara Ecological District.
The report is the first comprehensive review of the natural areas within the district, which includes the Kaipara Harbour, land from Pouto through to the Ruawai Flats and Dargaville and as far north as Kai Iwi Lakes.
The Kaipara Ecological District is unique within Northland, embracing one of the most extensive and least modified duneland and wetland complexes in the country.
Kaipara Harbour, the largest in the southern hemisphere, is a nationally and internationally important habitat for migratory and non-migratory bird species. The very extensive Pouto dune system is outstanding, including an impressive suite of relatively unmodified dunelakes. The large wetland at Maitahi is the most significant of its type in Northland and one of the best in New Zealand, while Lake Taharoa is the deepest and second largest lake in Northland.
The report also shows that forested areas in the district are not well represented, with tall forest of any kind rare and old growth forest extremely rare. Tapu Bush and Pretty Bush are two outstanding examples of old growth dune forest, says Department of Conservation spokesperson Wendy Holland.
"It’s important for management and heritage purposes that we know just what features occur in these amazing places. The report provides extensive information on what we do and don’t have, all of which is critical for sound management. The information will be extremely useful not only for agencies but anyone interested in the natural environment around them."
This report is part of a programme the Department initiated back in 1994. Soon such information covering the whole of Northland will be available, Ms Holland says.
Natural areas of Kaipara Ecological District is available online or from the Northland DOC office.