Rare and Endangered Species

NZFM has carried out a number of fauna surveys to identify the indigenous species present within the certified forests. The results are as follows:

Kiwi in Rotoaira Forest

The results of this survey indicate that kiwi may be present within the vicinity of the sites surveyed. Kiwi were not conclusively recorded in plantation forest, but could be present at some locations. No management recommendations are made within this report due to the inconclusive survey results. Further survey work may be required within possible kiwi habitat.

Kiwi in Lake Taupo Forest

No Kiwis were heard calling during the period that the survey was conducted. The survey was carried out at the most suitable time of the year, and on nights that are considered ‘good calling conditions’. The nil result of the survey, combined with the fact no kiwi sign has been found in or around Lake Taupo Forest, strongly indicates that kiwi are absent from the Forest.

Reptiles in Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests

After six months of site monitoring no lizards were found to occupy the dens located within Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests. However, it is highly likely that several species of gecko and skink are present within the Forests, particularly because Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests are within the correct altitudinal and geographical range for many species, as well as having suitable habitat type. Since the most likely habitat occurs in reserve areas of indigenous forest or riparian stream margins, which are protected from harvest disturbance, it is unlikely that management recommendations for species protection will be required.

Blue Duck in Rotoaira Forest

For this survey four sites were chosen from three different waterways. The presence of blue ducks was confirmed at two of the four survey sites. Annual monitoring of blue duck numbers is recommended as a measure of riparian management quality. Comparisons of blue duck numbers over time will provide a sufficient measure of riparian management and waterway habitat protection.

Blue Duck in Lake Taupo Forest

A survey of the presence of Blue Duck was completed on the Hinemaiaia Stream in Lake Taupo Forest. The stream habitat of the Hinemaiaia Stream and three of its tributaries was also completed to assess the suitability as Blue Duck habitat. Blue ducks or their sign were not seen or heard in any of the surveyed reaches along the Hinemaiaia stream and its three tributary streams. The report concluded that even if high densities of blue ducks occurred in streams adjacent to the Hinemaiaia catchment, long-term residency of blue ducks within the Hinemaiaia stream seems unlikely due to its physical characteristics.

Bats in Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests

Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests: ABM’s (Automatic Bat Monitors) were used to survey for the presence of native bats within Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forests. Within Lake Taupo Forest eight sites were surveyed, four short-tail bat and four long-tail bat sites. Short-tailed bats were found at one of the sites and long tailed bats were found at three of the sites. Within Rotoaira Forest twenty sites were surveyed, nine short tail sites and eleven long-tail sites. Short-tailed bats were found at one of the sites and long tailed bats were found at nine of the sites.

The results of the surveys support the recommendation that retention and protection of all natural areas, particularly old growth native forest, riparian margins and wetland areas, is vital to the conservation of threatened endemic bat species in Lake Taupo and Rotoaira Forest .

Fish in Rotoaira Forest

This survey has added the following species to the total fauna inventory for Rotoaira Forest : Koaro Galaxias brevipinnis, Rainbow Trout Salmo gairdnerii, Koura Paranephrops spp, and Common Bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus. One of these species, the koaro, has a high conservation value worthy of habitat protection. The survey recommended that the existing riparian management policy be maintained. It was also recommended that the current amount and condition of riparian stream protection is more than sufficient to provide refuge habitat, but needs to be maintained on all streams.

Dactylanthus taylorii

A population of Dacylanthus taylorii plants exists in Rotoaira Forest. NZFM are managing the populationin an attempt to conserve the population. Dactylanthus taylorii, commonly known as wood rose, is a native, fully parasitic plant that grows on the roots of certain trees. The host tree responds to the presence of Dactylanthus by forming a burl-like structure that resembles a fluted wooden rose (hence the common name). D.taylorii is threatened by browsing of possums, rats, pigs and deer, as well as habitat lost and the rarity of its pollinators and seed dispersers.

Within the forest, a number of individual plants are caged to protect the plants from predators and with the help of funding from the Biodiversity Condition Fund, NZFM erected a predator exclusion fence around a population of D.taylorii with young host tree species. The aim of the fence is to eliminate predators from the area to allow the population to grow.

Pittosporum turnerii

A population of the rare native plant Pittosporum turnerii is also present within Rotoaira Forest. In conjunction with the Tongariro/Taupo Conservancy of the Department of Conservation (DOC), NZFM have an establised management plan in place for the population. The plan includes a 10-year management time-line outlining tasks including possum browse monitoring and control where required. The conservation outcome of the plan is to allow Pittosporum turnerii to remain healthy and continue to flow and produce seed.