THE La trobe FOREST MAINLAND ISLAND PROJECT
Spearheaded by Peter and Jean King, the La Trobe forest mainland island project came into existence in 1998 with the establishment of a large bait station, trap and monitoring network within the catchments immediately surrounding La Trobe track. The primary purpose of this project is to assess the impact pest control has on a variety of ecosystem variables. By monitoring the relationship between pest mammal abundance and native wildlife both within and outside of pest control areas, the La Trobe Forest Mainland Island Project provides further evidence of both the devastating effect mammalian predators have on distribution and density of native birds, insects and lizards and the effectiveness of different methods of pest control in maintaining and increasing native fauna populations.
Over the years, international and local volunteers, La trobe track residents and council staff have assisted the Kings with the project and Auckland Council (formerly Auckland Regional Council) have provided continued resources and support. Peter and Jean King still conduct pest control and monitoring in the project area and are a great source of knowledge for the community.
Lone Kauri FOREST Restoration GROUP
In 2000, Mike Nixon and a group of Karekare residents created a network of bait stations and traps extending across 500ha of private and public owned pasture, regenerating scrub, young kauri ricker and podocarp, broadleaved forests. Today the network consists of 700 bait stations and traps that cover much of the old lone kauri farm and a significant area of the surrounding regional park. Monitoring of both pest numbers and native fauna has been a important aspect of the work and in 2019 a new monitoring plan and network was created to better understand the effects of pest control operations.
In addition to pest mammalian operations, Lone Kauri forest restoration group also control invasive flora (weeds) across the Karekare catchments and organise beach clean ups.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people that have contributed to this project since its inception, a process which produces a lengthy list too long to mention here however their time and energy ensures the projects continued momentum in 2019.
Karekare Ratepayers and Auckland Council (formerly Auckland Regional Council) have continued to support and resource the group.
In 2018, in order to increase awareness and celebrate the unique ecological values surrounding Karekare, the Karekare Landcare organisation was born. As an umbrella group, Karekare Landcare hopes to improve resourcing of existing projects and expand operations into the surrounding sub-catchments to improve habitat for native fauna and flora of the Waitakere Ranges. Working with Te Kawerau a Maki and Auckland Council, neighbouring conservation NGO’s and communities such as Ark in the Park, Pest Free Piha and Friends of Whatipu, we hope to contribute to an environment where knowledge and resources are shared and real community connections are made.
A Rahui placed by Te Kawerau a Maki and Auckland Councils closure of the forested extent of Waitakere Ranges regional park in 2017 in response to Kauri Dieback is respected by the Karekare community while authorities and experts conduct further research into the pathogen and essential upgrades are made to tracks to prevent further spread. We continue to operate where we can in accordance with our 2018 standard operating procedure and landscape plan (SOP).