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Locals encouraged to report weeds in national park

30 July 2013

Locals encouraged to report weeds in national park

Project Janszoon is calling on Nelson / Tasman locals to become “weed detectives” reporting any invasive weed finds in the Abel Tasman National Park.

A recent survey undertaken by Kaitiaki O Ngahere Ltd on behalf of Project Janszoon has identified 113 different weed species in the park in addition to the gorse and hakea which are prevalent in many areas. They range from old mans beard to jasmine, pampas, Mexican daisies and boxthorn.

The weeds and their locations have been plotted on a map on Project Janszoon’s website and it is hoped that if the public spot a weed not shown on the map they will report it.

“Over time the park has been assaulted by invasive weeds and pests and that has lead to the decline of native vegetation, bird and invertebrate populations. There is a desperate need for that decline to be stopped and a process of restoration to proceed. Any help we can get to pinpoint infestations we may not know about is welcome,” says Project Janszoon Director Devon McLean.

Discussion with DOC and bach owners is already taking place and plans to begin eradication or control of the more aggressive species are underway.

“There are a large number of weeds in the park but in most cases they are in places where there is human activity which means eradicating them should not be too hard. However we are conscious of the weed banks on the borders of the park and plan to talk to neighbours in due course about ways to reduce the chance of reinvasion,” says Mr McLean.

Project Janszoon also supports the excellent work of the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust to control wilding pines in the park. The nearly $500,000 project began in 2010 and aims to eradicate pines of cone bearing age from all high-priority coastal areas of the Park.

Over the last two years contractors have worked mostly at the southern end of the Park between Anchorage and Marahau, where the thickest infestations of pines occurs.

Trust Secretary Pam Holyoake says it is hoped funding will be confirmed shortly to accelerate the last two years of the project.

“It is an amazing feeling now we are nearing the end of the wilding pine project as it has been such a huge undertaking. The Birdsong Trust aims to bring birdsong back to the park and removing the wilding pines will allow the natives to re-emerge which is the food source for the native birds,” she says.

The NZ Lottery Grants Board is the principal funder of the wilding pine project with additional financial support from the Birdsong Trust, Canterbury Community Trust and Project Janszoon. The Birdsong Trust is supported by the major commercial tourism operators in the park.

Project Janszoon is a private trust aiming to transform the ecological prospects of the Abel Tasman National Park by 2042. It works with the Department of Conservation, Birdsong Trust, iwi and the local community.

To report any weed infestations please go to the website See... http://www.janszoon.org/the-project/weed-survey/

ENDS

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