Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Pohutukawa under threat on coast


Pohutukawa under threat on coast

For immediate release: Wednesday 17 December 2003 Browsing possums are seriously damaging some of the Bay of Plenty’s coastal pohutukawa and strong measures are needed to protect them, says Environment Bay of Plenty.


Coastal pohutukawa are under threat from browsing possums.

An aerial survey has highlighted possums as a major threat to the health of New Zealand’s iconic Christmas tree in certain areas, including north of Tauranga Harbour and around the East Cape. The region has already lost large tracts of its original indigenous forest and “we cannot afford to lose any more”, says Ian Noble, chairman of the council’s regulation and monitoring committee. “

Mr Noble says serious steps must be taken to protect pohutukawa and other coastal indigenous tree species. “This is a precious resource. We need to put in place a strong management regime which will include intensive pest animal and plant control,” he says.

Environment Bay of Plenty is setting up a programme to monitor the region’s coastal indigenous forests. Last year, it introduced a similar module for wetlands. At the moment, staff are mapping the extent of the trees and checking their health, initially by studying the condition of the canopy from the air.

Environmental scientist Joh Taylor says the work will help staff track changes over time. It will also help Environment Bay of Plenty understand the reasons for the poor health of the coastal forests so they can be managed better.

Ms Taylor says the largest stands of pohutukawa can be found east of Opotiki, near Whakatane, at Matata and north of Waihi Beach. Other remnants tend to be small and fragmented, she explains.

But, whether large or small, they are all highly valued. “They provide important ecological habitat, are a characteristic feature of the coast and also a significant landscape feature.”

A previous survey of the region’s coastline was carried out in 1988 with a segment of the eastern Bay of Plenty (from Otamarakau to Waiotahe) surveyed again between 1989 and 1991.

Coastal forest is vulnerable to a range of threats, including browsing by introduced pests like possums, and also ongoing clearance and grazing by domestic stock. Possums tend to browse heavily on selected trees, removing leaf shoots and opening up the canopy. Ms Taylor says heavy browsing can actually kill trees, even large mature specimens.

Other causes of canopy die-back or ill-health in coastal indigenous tree species include fire, salt spray, wind damage, local insect attack, roads and roosting by shag colonies.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On How National’s ”New” Welfare Plan Resurrects A Past Failure


Sam Uffindell’s defenders keep reminding us that he was only 16 at the time of the King’s College incident, and haven’t we all done things in our teens that, as adults, we look back on with shame and embarrassment? True. Let's be honest. Haven’t we all at one time or another, joined a gang and beaten a smaller, younger kid black and blue with wooden clubs? In that respect, Uffindell’s defenders on the streets of Tauranga risk sounding a bit like the psychiatrist Kargol played by Graham Chapman on Monty Python. Some of the media commentary has also noted how the Uffindell saga has taken the shine off National’s good poll results and distracted us all from the unveiling of an important welfare policy at the recent National Patty conference. OK… So let's put the spotlight back on that welfare policy...
More>>




 
 

National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>



Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>


National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>



Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>


National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>


Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels