Kauri dieback has been found in another Northland forest, despite efforts to prevent the disease entering the Bay of Islands woodland.
The Department of Conservation has confirmed that kauri dieback disease has been found in Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands, in a remote location following identification by aerial surveillance and sampling of the site.
The infestation comes despite efforts to stop it entering the forest. DOC introduced kauri dieback mitigation measures into Puketi Forest in 2019, including the closure of eight tracks in the forest, to try and stop the spread of the disease , but it appears this kauri may have been infected for some time.
"We are very disappointed kauri dieback has been found in Puketi and had been working hard to protect the forest from the disease," Dan O'Halloran, DOC Ranger Services Biodiversity said.
"The infected tree is in a remote location not near tracks or trap lines or other areas where people are likely to go. We are beginning additional surveillance and sampling work in the immediate vicinity and also on tracks and traplines in the surrounding area. We are working closely with our own staff, our Treaty Partners, Puketi Forest Trust, contractors and other forest users to mitigate the risk of any further spread by adhering to the existing strict hygiene protocols.
"The public is asked to help to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease by cleaning footwear and gear of all dirt before and after visiting any kauri forest. Use the hygiene stations provided and stay on the tracks."
How can the public help stop the spread?
• Clean your footwear and gear of all soil before and after visiting a kauri forest.
• We recommend gear is cleaned thoroughly before you leave home.
• If there is a hygiene station on arrival at the forest, use it, and stay on the track.
• If using poles, ensure they are also cleaned and only placed within the actual track, or don't use them in kauri forests.
About kauri dieback:Kauri dieback can kill kauri of all ages. It's a disease caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism, called Phytophthora agathidicida (PA). It lives in the soil and infects kauri roots, damaging the tissues that carry nutrients and water within the tree, effectively starving it to death.