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History of Mahakirau Forest Estate Society Incorporated

BIODIVERSITY VALUE: Environment Waikato has rated this site as a Key Ecological Site in the Waikato Region. In 1999, 36 sites were identified on the Coromandel Peninsula and a further 110 in the Waikato & Franklin Districts. Our site was ranked 15th.

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT VALUES: Mahakirau Forest Estate incorporates the headwaters of the Mahakirau and Waiau Rivers. There are a number of distinctive Volcanic Peaks – Pukewharareke, Totokoroa and Pukewhau in the estate.

TAONGA & INDIGENOUS SPECIES: Extensive indigenous flora species are present. More than 50 different native tree species have been recorded, including: Kauri, Rimu, Kaikawaka, Totara, Miro, Tawa, Nikau, northern and climbing Rata, Taraire, Rangiora, Kohekohe, Rewarewa, Hangehange, Kanuka and Manuka, just to name a few.
Extensive indigenous fauna species are present, including but not limited to: Bellbird, Tui, Riroriro (grey warbler), Kereru (wood pigeon), Tauhou (silvereye), Ruru (morepork), Kaka, Tomtit, Piwakawaka (fantail), Kotare (kingfisher), long tailed Cuckoo (on migration) and shining Cuckoo.
Koura, common-, bluegilled-, red finned-, and giant bully, banded Kokopu and eels are all found in either the Waiau and/or Mahakirau rivers.

RARE or ‘AT RISK’ SPECIES: North Island Brown Kiwi, Kaka, Hochstetter’s & Archey’s frogs, native bats (recorded at neighbouring Castle Rock), Coromandel striped gecko, Helm's butterfly, mature Kauri (threatened by Kauri Dieback), King fern and Kirks daisy.

ESTATE MANAGEMENT:
The estate is a professionally managed community, with open consultation and high energy. A highly skilled and motivated group of individuals, very much driven by the protection and enhancement of New Zealand's natural environment and in particular its threatened species. Amongst our community group are trained ornithologists, ecologists & landscape architects (to name a few) who generously share their knowledge and expertise. It is a community with the curiosity and eagerness to continuously improve the efficacy of programmes, constantly striving for refinements, resulting in better returns. Considerable action has been achieved to date with much of the contribution being ‘in kind’, including: Establishing & managing an extensive route of (possum/rat) bait stations at 150mtr centres incl. an Estate perimeter ‘buffer’ track, Stoat / weasel / ferret / hedgehog / possum / rat / wild cat trapping programme with more than 145 traps weekly maintained, Rat & possum monitoring lines, Annual bird monitoring, Managing noxious weed control (especially pampas and gorse), Managing magpie eradication and wild pig and goat culling, Funding and managing Kauri sapling planting – in excess of 200 trees, Contracting & managing the ongoing water control and silt and erosion management within the estate.

EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES:
To date funds have been received for the following environmental projects:
2004/5 Biodiversity Condition Fund, Ministry for the Environment: Mahakirau Forest Pest Control Initiative
2008/9 Biodiversity Condition Fund, Ministry for the Environment: Mahakirau Forest Pest Control Initiative
2010 Environment Waikato Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund: Mahakirau Forest Pest Control Initiative
2011 Environment Waikato Small Scale Community Initiatives : Mahakirau Forest - New Stoat Trap Establishment 2011
2012 Environment Waikato Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund: Mahakirau Forest - Rat and Possum Baiting, Spring 2012
Mahakirau Forest Estate appreciates the support and encouragement shown us. We are open to suggestions, and grateful for further advice and financial support, as well as volunteer labour! If our vision appeals to you and you think you might be able to help, please don't hesitate in contacting us.