Calls to close access to the Waitakere Range
From a joint press release, probably of most interest to people in the north: "The Tree Council, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Forest & Bird stand with Te Kawerau a Maki in calling for a rāhui and closure of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in response to the monitoring figures from Auckland Council’s latest survey of kauri dieback infection. "The results from the Waitakere Ranges have confirmed their worst fears about the spread of kauri dieback. While the average number of trees infected across the entire Waitakere Ranges may be 19% (more than doubled from 8% 5 years ago) the infection in areas where kauri dominates is actually affecting between 33% and 58% of trees. "The Council report states that local extinction of kauri in areas like Piha, where the infection is worst, is highly likely within 5 years unless urgent and drastic action is taken now. Extinction of kauri across the entire Waitakere Ranges is possible within a generation." [...and so on...] More at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1708/S00182/close-the-ranges-to-save-waitakere-kauri.htm
Its a pity no one is working on a fungicide to solve this. Just shutting the place up to humans will only slow it a little. Deer pigs goats etc still spread it and they cant read the closed signs
you cant stop people going in there, far too easy to get into the park, dozens of track entry points, too many people use the park, no other decent options nearby... the reality is its a major recreaction ground for aucklands largest city, they closed numerous tracks indefinitely years ago and called for closing the park but it was deemed impractical. the ones caling for the parks closure arent going to be people who use it extensively for recreation they wont be into endurance exercise they will be solely concerned about the plants.... there will be a major clash if the park is closed.
"Deer pigs goats etc still spread it and they cant read the closed signs" Is there any room to increase control of them?
theres no budget to eradicate them, there are no deer in the park, and hunting is presently illegal in the park, its very dense forest and it wont be quick or cheap to eradicate them. i'd imagine the pigs would be a major vector of the disease given they root around in the ground pushing it into the ground and arround kauri's shallow roots..
Reading the comments here, killing the pigs would be a good start. And would benefit the wider ecosystem as well.
theres a volunteer group that kill small predators that go for birds in a small area of the park, called Arc in the park, but nothing else i'm aware of
Would there not be some evidence from the patterns of trees being affected as to how it's most likely spreading? Surely it must be clear if it's spreading more quickly to trees along the main tracks people walk.
people will have brought it into the park, they will be one vector, probably the main vector but pigs will be spreading it as well given they spend a lot of time tearing up the ground...
There's some good discussion on Nine to Noon this morning between Kathryn Ryan and Dr Mels Barton. She's very critical of MPI. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201855086/border-control-inadequate-trees-at-risk-lobby-group From towards the end (15 mins) -- "The cleaning stations are very very poorly designed. People are not using them. Even when they've cleaned off what mud they can, [...] it's impossible to clean your boots when they're absolutely plastered in mud and all you've got is a scrubbing brush and a spray bottle and you're dancing around on one foot and then whatever you're scrubbing off... the infected mud... is just going straight onto the track surface that you're standing on, and anybody else is going to come to stand on, and they're just going to pick that disease up and take it somewhere else. The design of those initial... which were only meant to be a temporary stop-gap... those first cleaning stations, the really really basic ones... they're still there because there hasn't been enough money put into this programme in order to deal with this disease. Everyone's just been crossing their fingers, hoping that that'll be enough, and of course it isn't enough. People have got really disillusioned with what's going on. They see all the trees continuing to die and they see the pigs are running around, and they think 'Well what's the point of Me doing anything? Because it's not working, is it? So it can't possibly be me moving this disease! Let's blame the pigs and the possums and the birds and everything else and say Ahh it's too hard to spend 30 seconds doing that. Let's just walk past and carry on with our walk.'. So now we've gotten to the point where we're potentially going to lose all the Kauri in Piha within 5 years. Within 5 years!" ... and so on.
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