Special forest inhabitants

Making our forests their home

North Island Brown Kiwi

We are privileged that the North Island brown kiwi call our Waimarino Forest ‘home.’
The Aramahoe Biodiversity Project is an initiative that has been developed in partnership between Ernslaw One Ltd, Ngaporo Waimarino Forest Trust and Horizons Regional Council to protect threatened species in Waimarino forest.

The aim of the project is to protect and enhance the indigenous flora and fauna in the Aramahoe area through the implementation of long term animal and plant management programmes.

The pest control operations (bait stations and predator trapping) undertaken by Ernslaw One, Uenuku Tribal Authority and Horizons Regional Council, in the area, have undoubtedly improved natural productivity rates of kiwi.

Over the last six years, there has been a 15% increase in kiwi in Aramahoe Reserve.  The wider Waimarino forest continues to hold a nationally significant North Island brown kiwi population which his considered to be stable and healthy.

To ensure the kiwi population continues to thrive we carefully plan harvesting to keep them safe and actively assist with predator control.  Hunters in this forest must have their dogs kiwi-aversion trained.

Credit: Otanewainuku Kiwi trust
Credit: Angus McIntosh

Brown Mudfish

The Brown Mudfish (Neochanna apoda), a species classified as being in “Gradual Decline” since first being discovered in New Zealand in the 1860s, is found in five wetland areas in our Santoft Forest.  These wetland areas will remain as natural habitat and are protected by our environmental management protocols.Similar areas of wetland complex are often drained for pasture on neighbouring farmland so our forest is providing critical habitat and protection for these indigenous fish.

Native Bats

Bats are New Zealand’s only native terrestrial mammal.The Northern Short Tail Bat (Mystacina tuberculata aupourica) and Long Tailed Bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) are present in many of our forests.

As these bat species are primarily insectivores they have become well established within the insect rich exotic forests of our estate.  We run a bat monitoring programme in Waimarino Forest.

Credit: Sabine Barnett
Credit: Bill Wheeler

Falcon (Karearea)

The New Zealand falcon (Karearea) is a threatened species that is only found in New Zealand. Widespread habitat-loss has been a major factor in the decline of falcon populations, yet this species appears to be thriving in pine plantation forests.   The falcon prefers to inhabit clearfelled areas and  nests on the ground.

Falcon could reside in any of our forests so we’re always on the lookout for their presence, particularly at nesting time. Our staff report any sightings of falcon and they are also recorded on the plantation forests biodiversity portal.  All reports go into a national database to further research into these magnificent birds.

We take great care at harvesting time to ensure harvesting management plans follow the NZ Forest Owners Association guidelines and if necessary, operations are halted, the situation assessed and alternative plans developed to ensure the safety of falcon friends.

We are moving towards training team members to be able to set up cameras near nests so we can carefully monitor fledgling success and feedback into NZ Forest Owners Association’s national observation database.