According to data released late last year by the Department of Conservation, tree deaths caused by possums in Northland increased dramatically between 2010 and 2012. DOC has estimated tree deaths during that period are up by 150%.
With major cuts to DOC Northland conservancy budgets and a sharp reduction in manpower in the North, the department also reports that its efforts to control possums have been compromised and are failing.
DOc is now committed to engaging local communities in its efforts at some form of improved protection for valuable kauri forest in the region. At Warawara, North Hokianga, the department entered an agreement in 2011 with iwi, the Northland Regional Council, DoC, community groups, land-owners and ten local marae under the banner of the Warawara Komiti Kaitiaki [Warawara Guardians Committee]. That group has now embarked on a 5 year programme of protection for 6,800 ha of the 13,300 ha Warawara Forest.