There's a new tool in the fight against Kauri Dieback Disease, with an animated video released urging people to do their bit to protect the trees, including Waipoua Forest's giant Tāne Mahuta.
The new animation video from the Department of Conservation (DoC) and Te Roroa, kaitiaki over Waipoua Forest in the Far North, is urging people to clean their shoes and stay on the open tracks when visiting kauri forests to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease.
The summer months are the busiest time of year for domestic and international visitors to kauri forests, with more than 10,000 people expected to visit Waipoua Forest, home of Tāne Mahuta, during the first two weeks of January.
DoC Kauri Coast Operations Manager Stephen Soole said the public must clean their footwear and gear before they visit our great kauri forests, and always stay on the open tracks.
"Stepping off the track puts all our kauri in great danger. Even the smallest movement of soil is enough to transfer kauri dieback from one tree to another," Soole said.
When visiting a kauri forest, DoC is encouraging people to:
• Scrub soil off shoes and equipment and check it's all removed when you visit or leave a kauri forest area.
• Use DoC's hygiene stations and follow the steps to scrub, check all soil is removed and then spray to disinfect.
• The risk is too high to assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. DOC works hard to prevent it spreading, but we need you to stay on the track and away from kauri roots to help keep our trees safe.
• Protect our kauri, your actions now can make a difference.
"Together we can stop the spread of this disease and ensure that Tāne Mahuta continues to stand tall, and our ancient kauri trees are preserved for many generations to come", Soole said.
In Waipoua Forest, Tāne Mahuta is so far free of kauri dieback but the pathogen was found just 60m away late last year.
In May DoC closed the Four Sisters Track, also at Waipoua, after infected trees were found nearby.
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.
There is no cure for kauri dieback, and the disease kills most if not all the kauri it infects. It can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
Watch the video here: