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30 September 2011
Recent survey work has confirmed the importance of removing soil from footwear and equipment before and after entering areas with kauri trees.
The survey involved taking soil samples and testing them for kauri dieback disease. Kauri dieback is a fungus-like disease specific to kauri and is killing trees of any age – young and old. It is believed to be spread by soil movement.
Samples were taken from sites where human soil movement was possible and were taken across Northland, Great Barrier and Coromandel within 12 newly sampled forests and two where kauri dieback was known.
The survey was undertaken as part of the programme to manage kauri dieback disease, implemented jointly by MAF, Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Maori.
Most of the tests did not detect the disease, however the disease was found to be present in Omahuta, Glenbervie and Russell forests in areas where there had been previous kauri forestry activity. These join previously identified rural, forestry and natural bush land sites with the disease in Northland, Auckland and Great Barrier.
John Sanson, Chairman of the Kauri Dieback Leadership Team, says "The joint programme partners are working with land managers, tangata whenua and landowners to ensure appropriate measures are taken to limit further spread of the disease where it has been detected. A range of measures will be considered, including further soil testing, restrictions on access, installing information signage and providing cleaning stations for forest users to clean footwear."
Landowners and users of the kauri sites where the disease has not been detected are also being encouraged to continue preventative actions of removing soil and staying on formed tracks to protect these forest areas from the disease.
As Mr Sanson says "The soil testing programme is important for us to understand the disease spread and impacts. But we ask all landowners and forest users to take action, because all areas with kauri trees are vulnerable to the disease and we must all do what we can to protect these taonga."
Further information on kauri dieback is available at www.kauridieback.co.nz
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