Forest and Bird takes on mangrove removal

Forest and Bird takes on mangrove removal

A team coordinated by Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird had a muddy time removing mangroves from Orewa Estuary in the rain.
A group calling themselves the Mangoes, (managing mangroves in Orewa Estuary) had its first working bee on the rainy afternoon of March 26.

The group, coordinated by Forest and Bird Hibiscus Coast with the blessing of Auckland Council, is tasked with removing mangrove seedpods and small mangrove plants from the estuary.

Around 20 people took part, working in three selected areas. The plants and pods were bagged for removal by Auckland Council.

Pest Free Peninsula project manager, Pauline Smith, says that the best part was being able to coordinate two other environmental groups who had been doing this work for around 10 years.

“It’s got to the stage where they need assistance,” Pauline says. “We wanted to get them talking to each other and to focus on a common goal, with common systems.”

She says the key focus for Forest & Bird is to improve shell banks where wading birds can roost at high tide.

“Orewa Estuary is a significant part of the North West Wildlink – 53 bird species use the estuary for feeding, nesting and as a transit stop to other areas. Clearing the pods before they root will enhance and preserve the shell banks currently forming in the estuary and provide birds with roosting areas at high tide.

Currently the birds roost on Orewa College grounds or at Metro Park, which could cause conflict when the fields are being used for sport activity.

She says where the two groups have been managing the mangroves, sandy bays and shell banks are appearing.

“Keeping clear spaces can also enhance views of the water from the walkway and provide access to the estuary for recreational use. This project needs to continue over the long term. We have a long way to go yet, and encourage others to join in this worthwhile project,” she says. “Later this year we will establish animal pest control, and waterside planting, around the estuary.”

Info: email paulinesmith@xtra.co.nz or phone 027 242 7636.

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