Maungatautari Ecological Island, the restoration of native bush and elimination of introduced species on the slopes of Maungatautari volcano.

Maungatautari Ecological Island

At the heart of the lush farmland of the Waikato, just south of the stunning Lake Karapiro, a project of enormous ecological importance is being undertaken by a community dedicated to the restoration of Maungatautari volcano.

The volcano has sustained the lives of its people, both modern and ancestral, for hundreds of years but since the introduction of European pests such as deer, rabbits, goats, pigs and rats, the dense forest that drapes over the volcano has become depleted of native varieties of mammal, birds and vegetation.

The aim of the courageous project is to eliminate all introduced pests from the 3363 hectares of forest. Currently there are two main areas, cordoned off with specialist fencing, that are pest free, and both have tracks through the forest for visitors to enjoy. There is also a guided night walk in the southern area.

Life in the forest of Maungatautari is beginning to awaken again. Native flora is tentatively taking a hold once more of the forest floor. A walk through the pest free enclosures provides the sounds of the New Zealand forests of old. Look for the hihi (stichbirds) often seen at specially made feeders, and listen for the squawk of the Kaka in the day and the calls of the Brown Kiwi, our national treasure, through the musical night.

Maungatautari is comprised of Maori land and private land, together with public-owned Scenic Reserve administered by Waipa District Council.

The community drives the restoration of Maungatautari and much progress is being made!




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