Date: 18 June 2018
People out and about exploring the Kauri Coast district DOC reserves and tracks over the next few months may notice some hard-working rangers and contractors involved in some major work, as DOC continues its programme of upgrading tracks in the Kauri Coast to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.
In response to the threat of Kauri dieback disease DOC is undertaking some much-needed track maintenance and upgrades at some key sites in the Kauri Coast District, stretching from the Kauri Bushman’s reserve in Matakohe, tracks in Trounson Kauri Park and the Waipoua Forest, through to the Waiotemarama Loop Track in the Hokianga.
To protect the public and kauri in the reserve, the tracks will be closed while contractors complete the upgrade. Work on the tracks is expected to take approximately three-four weeks from the closure date.
Kauri dieback is caused by microscopic spores in soil that infect kauri roots, stopping the flow of nutrients to the tree. Eventually the infected tree starves to death. The disease can be spread if someone walks through mud containing spores and carries the contaminated mud on their footwear to another kauri forest.
A DOC national kauri dieback team identified wet and muddy sections of the Kauri Coast tracks where there is a risk of track users spreading kauri dieback spores in mud on their footwear.
A range of work will be done on the tracks to mitigate this risk. This includes replacing the old barrel and grate wash stations, resurfacing the track with new metal and the construction of new boardwalks and box steps.
All of this is aimed at stopping the spread of disease by improving the hygiene facilities and track surfaces, as well as eliminating wet and muddy sections of the track which could harbour the disease.
“After many years in the making we are ready to get on with the track work – getting to this point has taken a while, from track inspectors painstakingly gathering data, planners undertaking cost modelling and guidance around best practice, and then prioritisation through consultation with iwi and communities and developing the final plan for delivery,” says Karen Joyce-Paki, Acting Operations Manager, Kauri Coast.
“So now the time has come for all the hard work and planning involved to hit the ground and do the work, which is an exciting time for all involved, and the start of a bright new future for conservationists, iwi, and public alike.”
The public will be informed of these temporary closures through signs at the tracks and temporary closure notifications will be posted on the DOC website.
Meanwhile, the multi-agency Kauri Dieback Management Programme continues research into the origin of the disease, its spread and new ways to detect its presence.
About kauri dieback
- Kauri have been reclassified as “Threatened”.
- Kauri dieback is killing our forests.
- It can be spread with just a pinhead of soil.
- Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear every time you enter or leave a forest.
- Use disinfectant only after you have removed all soil.
- Stay on track and off kauri roots.
Kauri dieback is the deadly kauri disease caused by Phytophthora Agathidicida (or PA). Following DNA studies, this fungus-like disease was formally identified in 2008 as a distinct and previously undescribed species of Phytophthora. Kauri dieback is specific to New Zealand kauri and can kill trees of all ages.
Microscopic spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches and lesions that bleed gum at the base of the trunk. Nearly all infected kauri die. In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri in New Zealand.
The collaborative effort to address kauri dieback includes Tāngata Whenua, Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
More information on kauri dieback can be found at www.kauridieback.co.nz
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