Maungatautiri Mountain Reforestation, Part 1: Planting NZ Native Trees

Maungatautiri Mountain Reforestation project

At Forest Maker Honey, our mission is centred around restoring native forests. One reforestation project we’re proud to have been involved in and share with you is taking place at Maungatautiri Mountain. With 3000 trees donated from Forest Maker Honey to the project, we want to extend a big thank you to everyone supporting us and share with you the details of the project.

Forest Maker Honey had the opportunity to play a part in this project through a visit to Mt Pirongia (more to come on our involvement with Mt Pirongia later) which is a connecting mountain to Mt Maungatautiri. On the visit we were accompanied by a biologist, who helped provide depth and explanation on the evolutionary magnificence of a full grown forest in all its vastness.

From the visit, we began making donations towards the conservation efforts in the area, and our involvement has continued to grow. We are planning larger replanting projects along the rivers connecting the two mountains which we’ll share with you soon.

For now, please read on to find out why and how we’re helping Maungatautiri Mountain.

Why Maungatautiri Mountain reserve?

Maungatautiri Mountain reserve is located in Waikato, New Zealand. An area where approximately 130 plant species native to the region are at risk of extinction. The planting is taking place nearby in Ryans Bush, a fenced QE2 covenant piece of land close to the reserve, with the area of bush being deemed ecologically significant. Replanting threatened species not only helps to ensure their survival but assists in the regeneration of the land surrounding the established trees. This will one day restore native flora and fauna to the Mountain.

It is a major project that is being led by the local communities. Two large areas of the mountain’s forest are now surrounded by a predator-proof fence, and all the pests within them have been eradicated. This has allowed threatened species that were once lost from the district to return to the mountain, including Kiwi, Kokako, Tuatara, Stichbird, Takahe and Kakariki.

With time and without pests, the population of many native bird species like Tui, Kereru and Kakariki will expand to bursting point. In search of food or new homes, young birds will migrate out into the surrounding countryside. These species will also come down from the mountain to feed in the lowlands during the winter.

This is where native planting is important, whether it be in gardens or large restoration areas. These areas assist in providing vital habitat with food sources and nesting opportunities for native birds moving down from the mountain. The (literal) seeds sowed in this forest restoration project will mean all New Zealanders (and our kids and kids kids!) can reap the rewards and enjoy the wildlife and native growth in the area around the mountain. 

The benefit to local ecosystems and species

If good vegetation corridors are provided then species such as whiteheads, robins, tomtits, riflemen and kokako may be drawn down from the mountain to visit. If we’re lucky, some of them may even breed if suitable habitat is there for them.

The cheeky native parrots, kaka and kakariki need patches of bush with plentiful food trees which they can visit. And if they choose to make the area their permanent home, they may nest in the holes of large old trees.

Small populations of other species will establish on the mountain and may be seen or heard through the district. Brown teal will feed on invertebrates in surrounding farmland, and at night long tailed cuckoos and Cook’s petrels will be heard and seen flying overhead. Bush falcon and long tailed bats may become more common. With the continued control of pests, spotless crakes, banded rails and even fernbirds could become established in the forest. 

It’s likely that pacific, forest and green geckos will become more common in surrounding areas. And, our fingers are crossed that we’ll also see an increase in the number of copper skinks which are already present in surrounding farmland. 

Or to put it simply, when the forest flourishes, so do all of the species that call it home.

The planting details

Now you know why reforestation surrounding Maungatautiri Mountain is so important. If you’d like to know more keep your eyes peeled for our next blog where we dive into the details of the Maungatautiri Mountain planting.

If you’d like even more information on our reforestation work, we’d love to talk. Please feel free to reach out.