Kauri dieback disease is killing one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s taonga – our unique kauri forests. But kauri will be saved … with your help.
How Can I Help Save Kauri When Trapping
If you are trapping in an area with kauri, then you need to consider how you can avoid the spread of kauri dieback within and from that site. Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show symptoms until the disease is advanced.
- Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear every time you enter or leave an area with kauri. Even if you only ever use the same route, clean your gear both ways, every time.
- Use tracks as much as possible. Avoid placing traps near a kauri and never place a bait station on a kauri - a kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, grow close to the surface, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x the spread of the tree’s branches.
- If you are part of a trapping group, place kauri dieback signs on your trap line to denote any kauri sites 3 times the canopy spread away, with instructions on what you expect the trap checker to do.
- Plan your trap design and your associated activity to reduce your potential to spread kauri dieback whenever possible. This may mean:
- doing certain sections of your site last
- attacking a line from both ends
- taking a set of footwear with you for doing a suspect part of your line and bagging them out for cleaning
- setting up bins with boots for use over each contaminated section alone
- using different clean over boots for each section
- leaving cleaning gear and footwear on site for use by your group at predefined cleaning stations.
- Position your trap lines and trap routes on dry or free draining surfaces. Do not use sites in muddy areas within 3x the canopy spread of kauri or, through you activity, create muddy areas for wallows.
- Position your traps carefully. If you have to use an area within a kauri zone, then do not move the trap box from the site when you finish trapping. Remove the trap from the box and leave the box in situ.
- Capture material and any water used for cleaning in a container for disposal in a sewer, or on a grassed site lacking kauri or grazing.
- Only use 2% Sterigene on your footwear and other gear after you have removed all the soil; spray it on all the areas that have come into contact with the ground.
- Dispose of dead animals outside kauri zones or outside the trapping area, to avoid attracting wild animals such as pigs, who can then spread the disease.
- Avoid areas that are closed or protected by a rahui. Closures are only made when the risk of spreading the disease from or within it are extraordinarily high.
- Spread the word within your networks about the need to help stop the spread of kauri dieback, and be seen doing the right thing. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.
About kauri dieback
- The pathogen that causes kauri dieback is microscopic, ‘smart,’ and tough. It is possible for it to survive at least six years on footwear or equipment. It can sense where a kauri tree’s roots are, and then ‘swim’ towards them through the soil. It kills most if not all kauri it infects, of all ages.
- Kauri naturally occur throughout the upper North Island (in the Northland, Auckland and Waikato regions, and in parts of the Bay of Plenty); if you’re in natural bush and you’re in the upper North Island, it’s likely you’re near kauri.
- It is highly unlikely that a cure for kauri dieback will ever be found. Phosphite is being researched as a means to slow the spread of the infection within individual kauri, but it does not cure the disease and has only a limited application - if any - in natural forest (trees have to be repeatedly injected with the chemical, at multiple sites on the trunk). The only way to save kauri is to clean gear before and after going near kauri, and to stay off kauri roots.
Click here to visit the Department of Conservation’s hunting pages.
Updated May 2017
The information in this guide is intended to be general information. It is not intended to take the place of, or to represent, the written law of New Zealand or other official guidelines or requirements. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this document is accurate, the Ministry for Primary Industries (and any of their employees or agents involved in the drafting of this guide) do not accept any responsibility or liability for any error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion which may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions or actions based on this information.
The Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme itself and on behalf of all the persons mentioned above, clarifies that it has no control over and is not responsible for the contents of any pages referenced or accessed from this guide other than pages provided by the Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme. Any hyperlinks to other Web sites imply neither responsibility for, nor approval of, the information contained in those other Web sites on the part of the Ministry/The Kauri Dieback Programme.