Date: 18 January 2013
A comprehensive report on the natural areas of south-eastern Northland are highlighted in a new report entitled Natural areas of Rodney Ecological District (Northland).
The report is the first complete review of the natural areas within this part of Northland, which spans 21,022 ha between the southern Brynderwyns and Topuni down SH1 and east out to Mangawhai.
“Rodney Ecological District (Northland) has a long history of human occupation and modification of the natural landscape and is mostly characterised by fragmented natural areas however some spectacular and very significant features remain including Mangawhai Harbour and Sandspit, Pukekaroro Scenic Reserve, Pukepohatu, Cattlemount and Sentinel Rock “ said Wendy Holland, Community Technical Advisor
Dunelands, estuarine habitats, and inland forests are the dominant vegetation types of this district. Mangawhai Harbour and Sandspit contain key habitats in particular for indigenous birds, supporting a very high number of ‘Threatened’ and ‘At Risk’ bird species including the national stronghold for the Nationally Critical New Zealand fairy tern, which breeds on the Sandspit.
Ms Holland explains that it is evident that local residents and the wider community take pride in the natural assets and biodiversity present in the district including the many areas of indigenous forest legally protected by landowners under the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, intensive management within the Marunui Conservation Area on the southern Brynderwyns, the on-going restoration work of the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society, and those landowners who work quietly away fencing habitats and undertaking pest control in their backyard.
This report is an invaluable tool to assist landowners, iwi and agencies with identifying important natural areas. The Department of Conservation administers the Crown-funded Biodiversity Condition and Advice Fund which provides funding to assist landowners with protection of these special places.