1/3 BUSH FALCON STUDY
There are three species of falcon indigenous to New Zealand. The New Zealand Bush Falcon is the only species present in the North Island and is considered threatened. The study, based in Kaingaroa Forest in the Central North Island, was carried out over the period 2003-2007 with the aim of better understanding how the New Zealand Bush Falcon utilizes the plantation forest. The study showed that the falcons are using the plantation forest in high numbers, and are preferentially nesting in post harvest cutover areas, generally within vicinity of mature plantation forest edges. The study also showed that production forestry is entirely compatible with the falcon; in fact, forestry activities enhance habitat for the species, with a large production forest with a range of habitats apparently providing ideal substitute habit for native forest. As a requirement for Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification we keep a ‘rare, threatened and endangered species’ sightings database.
2/3 LONGTAILED BAT PROJECT
We are the principle supporter for a PhD project studying New Zealand Long-tailed Bats in Kinleith Forest in the Central North Island. New Zealand Long-tailed Bats are one of two species of bat indigenous to the county, both of which are listed as threatened. These two species of bats were the only mammals present in New Zealand prior to the arrival of humans. The study aims to improve understanding of how bats are using the plantation forest, where they are roosting and breeding, the impact of forestry operations on bats, and potentially the effects of bats on the production forest. Bats are captured using a specialized harp net and tracked using radio transmitter devices – no easy feat considering the bats are the size of a small mouse. It is hoped that this information will enable recommendations to be made regarding the long term management of the forest to minimize impacts on long tailed bats.
3/3 NORTHLAND KIWI RECOVERY PROJECT
Kiwi are an iconic New Zealand bird species and are now endangered with numbers in the wild on the decline primarily due to predators. To assist with their survival, Hancock Forest Management NZ runs a kiwi recovery project in Whatoro Forest in Northland New Zealand, owned by our client Taumata Plantations Ltd, in conjunction with our forest neighbours. The project encompasses 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) mostly located within the plantation but also including three neighbours properties. The key component of the kiwi project is a comprehensive year-round predator control program to protect the remaining kiwi population and enhance breeding and chick survival. In addition to the Whatoro project, Hancock Forest Management NZ’s client Taumata Plantations Limited provides support to a number of other kiwi recovery groups operating similar projects adjacent to and within our managed forests in other parts of Northland. Dogs are a key predator of kiwi and Hancock Forest Management NZ has made it a mandatory requirement that all recreational users bringing dogs into their managed forests undertake ‘kiwi aversion training’ provided by Department of Conservation. Kiwi monitoring is carried out annually in the form of call count listening and it is hoped that these measures along with the efforts of many other groups in Northland, will halt the decline of kiwi in the wild and ideally restore natural populations.