Habitat Restoration

The Hawke’s Bay region is ideally placed to be a leader in the restoration of native biodiversity within the broader human landscape. The rich range of indigenous ecosystems that once dominated the landscape have been greatly reduced and fragmented. However nationally significant ecosystem and species populations remain.

The goal of habitat restoration for Poutiri Ao ō Tāne is to build on the many years of work already undertaken by the local community in the Maungaharuru-Tutira area, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Department of Conservation, and the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society. The aim was to enhance the environment by controlling erosion, regenerate native bush, and improve the quality of waterways. In the long-term, this will restore a link between small areas of bush and will provide habitat for native birds and animals to spread out from an intensively-managed area into the wider environment.

During 2011-2012 Poutiri Ao ō Tāne staff and private landowners surrounding Boundary Stream Mainland Island were instrumental in providing sections of land to retire, fence and encourage habitat restoration.  Wetlands, streams and small pockets of native bush are ideal as this land that cannot be farmed, so it can be used to increase conservation through enhancing and encouraging our native wildlife back to the area and providing a protected location for translocated bird species to travel between.

By the end of 2012 the result was restoration work on seven properties, with a combined area of 124 ha. Additionally, over 10,240 metres of fencing had been either repaired or erected to protect habitat from browsers, and extensive restoration planting was being undertaken.

Lake Tutira suffers from algal blooms, which are caused by excessive nutrients reaching the lake from surrounding catchments. Poutiri Ao ō Tāne has taken further steps toward nutrient management for the lake through replanting and fencing for catchment protection. The Department of Conservation has also undertaken weed control, which will also play a role in returning the Lake to its natural state. In addition, some significant natural areas have been protected.

Establishment of a network of green corridors from the mountains to the sea is a long-term vision and is partially dependent on other work streams such as pest control and species reintroductions. However, the work done to date on weed control and the eradication of goats under the habitat restoration work stream to a number of reserves and patches of bush between Mangaharuru and the coast line at Waipatiki Beach gives confidence that this vision can become a reality over forthcoming years.

The key to this was that landowners and the community were willing collaborators in the habitat restoration.


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