Pests are those organisms that threaten the sustainable survival of the kauri forest eco-system by either direct attacks on the floral and fauna of the forest, or by undermining the system by competing with materials essential for the its survival. At all times Waipoua Forest Trust has a active pest control programme and is always looking and initiating new activities to improve the effectiveness of these.
There will always be opportunities for members to participate in these programmes, if you are interests please provide your contacts by email to
The principal pests we fight to protect Waipoua Forest from are;
DOGS predate on the wide range of flightless birds that are an integral part of the unique kauri forest environment. Kakapo, the rare ‘ground parrot’ has already vanished from the area, while both kiwi and weka are seriously threatened. Control depends on responsible dog ownership.
FERRETS, STOATS, WEASELS and other MUSTELIDS. These voracious hunters are a major predator of birds, and especially native species that have not adapted to being hunted by mammals. They prey on both young and mature birds, as well as eggs, and by killing pollinating and seed distributing birds have a powerful influence on the whole forest Control is by poisoning and trapping, both of which are only moderately successful without substantial investment in on the ground foresters.
GOATS These browsing animals were originally introduced as farm animals, but are now present in large feral numbers throughout the West Coast kauri environment. They browse on many plants and kill seedling trees, including kauri, by stripping their foliage. Also kill and undermine the health of many forest floor and understory plants. Controlled mainly by hunting.
HEDGEHOGS may be cute but they are major predators of native birds, especially their nests. A hedgehog free Waipoua is our aim. Poison is the best form of control.
PIGS Well established throughout the kauri forest area, these animal have always caused serious damage in bush areas because of their habit of feeding un underground material, with the rooting effecting the plant life above. With the appearance of Kauri Dieback (PTA) disease, their threat has increased dramatically as they are identified as carriers for the disease throughout the forest. Control is by hunting and trapping and poisoning.
POSSUMS Enemy number one in the kauri forest, because they not only destroy birds by eating eggs and young birds, they also browse on young foliage and are responsible for killing as much as 20% of the emerging forest trees. Control is by poisoning and trapping, but as with other active controls these are only effective with sustained and labour intensive activity throughout the forests, both conservation and commercial.
RATS After possums the principal threat to our forest environment. Predators of young birds and eggs, they also consume large quantities of seed from all plants and undermine the survival of every level of the forest, from emergent to the understory. Vigorous breeders, they recover swiftly from poisoning programmes and demand persistence as well as concentration in our approach. Main form of control is poison.
ARGENTINE ANT An aggressive, very successful immigrant that in recent years has posed a threat to the invertebrate population of the Waipoua Forest community. Competes with other invertebrates for food, as well as attacking them to reduce competition.
GIANT WHITE BUTTERFLY pose a specific risk to New Zealand’s 79 native cress species (nearly 3% of New Zealand’s indigenous vascular flora) of which 55 are currently classified as Threatened or At Risk. Unlike the smaller, more common White Butterfly, which lays single eggs, Giant White Butterflys lay eggs in batches of 50 – 150. The caterpillars feed in groups on a wide range of host plants, and will completely defoliate a plant before moving up to 100m in search of more plants.
INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES
There are over 2000 listed invasive plant species in New Zealand, of which a number are of particular concern in the Kauri ecosystem. The first and most critical stage of eliminating these from our forests is to make sure none of them exist in your garden at home or on you farm. The ones of most concern to us at the Waipoua Forest Trust are;
Araujia sericite Moth Plant
Arundo donax Giant Reed
Lonicera japonica Japanese honeysuckle
Ipomoea indica blue morning glory
Ligustrum lucidum tree privet
Clematis vitalba old man’s beard
Solanum linnaeanum apple of Sodom
Hedychium gardnerianum Kahili ginger