Predator plan a ‘‘good start’’
Forest & Bird has welcomed an announcement from Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to increase predator control in Northland.
Barry announced Department of Conservation will work with local hapu to design a pest control programme for Russell State Forest to be carried out over 20 years, with an extra $380,000 spent on predator control in Northland this financial year.
Forest & Bird’s Northland Conservation Advocate Dean BaigentMercer says it’s a good start towards saving the region’s forests.
‘‘Controlling introduced predators means the forest can rebound naturally and native birds like tui and kiwi will be able to nest in peace and build in numbers.’’
Forest & Bird released drone footage in late 2015 to highlight the issue of Northland’s collapsing forests. The effects of possum browsing are evident - it shows dying ancient rata, pohutukawa, and puriri, plus thinning canopies of taraire, kohekohe and rewarewa.
Currently over 46,000 hectares of native forest under DOC’s care in Northland are collapsing, the organisation says.
‘‘We know it takes native forests 20 years alone to recover from collapse, but also how successful native birds are able to breed with ongoing quality pest control operations.’’
Forest and Bird Society Far North’s Dean Baigent-Mercer says a pest control plan for Northland is a good start.