About Maungataniwha Native Forest
Maungataniwha Native Forest comprises 6,120 hectares of native forest straddling the ridge system between the Te Hoe and Waiau Rivers in northern Hawkes Bay. It is bordered to the north by Te Urewera National Park and to the west by the Whirinaki Conservation Forest, both part of an extensive area of native forest which is publicly-owned land administered by the Department of Conservation. Its southern neighbour is the Maungataniwha Pine Forest.
The area is of national importance geologically as the site where palaeontologist Joan Wiffen first discovered evidence of land-dinosaur fossils in New Zealand. These fossil remains were extracted from cretaceous rock taken from the Mangahouanga Stream, which has the bulk of its catchment within this forest. The block also has a long history of logging, although Simon Hall retired this property from logging when he purchased it in 2005.
To date Maungataniwha remains unsurveyed for rare native species, and only partially surveyed for kiwi. Nevertheless, Long-Tailed and Short-Tailed Bats, kaka, kereru, Bush Falcon, and Forest Gecko have been recorded via casual observation in recent years.
1080 appears to have no impact on the breeding capabilities of the kiwi we monitor as part of the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project.
We spray gorse on an ongoing basis and also target pampas and buddleia.
Mustelid control is achieved through a mix of DOC 250 and Fenn trap sets. These are proving effective at protecting the adult breeding kiwi we monitor as part of the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project.
Small mammal monitoring indicates that a mix of trapping and aerial 1080 applications have been highly effective in reducing rat numbers.
In October 2008 Willie Shaw, a botanist, attempted to relocate the Kakabeak he had found some 25 years previously in the Urewera National Park. After a short search the original plant was found, along with another within six metres. Another search in November 2008 found a further two plants on the Waiau Cliffs. Following this we established our Kakabeak restoration project and obtained a permit to collect seed.
Red mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala) has also been seen. Recent and on-going possum control will assist greatly with the re-establishment of mistletoe in this area.
Both species appear to be benefitting from possum control, with an increase in the number of plants recorded on the property.
In February 2009 the remains of a wooden structure, believed to have been a storehouse used by Maori living in the area, were discovered within the Te Urewera National Park. The discoveries add to the belief that the Maungataniwha area was once an important place for Maori.
© Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust.