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John Fensham Sanctuary for Native Birds and Trees

Location: Situated outside of Carterton at the upper end of Cobden Road. Wairarapa Plains Ecological District.Size: 49.8264 hectares
Habitat: The reserve contains approximately nine hectares of primary forest, three hectares of wetland, 19 hectares of regenerating forest and shrublands, and 18 hectares of pastureland. The primary forest, situated on mainly flat land that includes occasional wetland areas, is in good condition with a well-established canopy and rich understorey. The forest is dominated by kahikatea, tarata, titoki and black beech with smaller amounts of totara, matai, rimu, kowhai and hinau. Some of the podocarps here are 400-700 years old.The hill contains areas of black-beech forest with an understorey of advanced regeneration. Between these two forest types there are considerable areas of regenerating kanuka-manuka forest with significant amounts of rewarewa emerging in the canopy. On the alluvial plain there is a small kahikatea-totara-matai forest with kanuka, hinau, pokaka and black beech. This forest is associated with areas of manuka, rushes, sedges and toetoe growing in a wetland containing brown mudfish Neochana apoda. A regionally threatened fern species, parsley fern Botrychium biforme, is present as well as various tree species uncommon in the ecological district.
Birds & wildlife: Fensham Reserve is one of several areas in the Wairarapa where high numbers of brown mudfish exist. This is a Category B, nationally threatened species of 'vulnerable' status. The reserve could well contain the highest numbers of brown mudfish of any Wairarapa site.
Native birds to see include NZ kingfisher, tui, NZ pigeon, morepork (NZ owl), North Island fantail, grey warbler and silvereye. Introduced species include chaffinch, blackbird, song thrush, white-backed magpie house sparrow, English sparrow, starling, and eastern rosella. Pukeko (swamp hen) are found in pasture and wetland areas and at times paradise shelduck. Australasian harrier may be seen flying overhead.
Visiting & access: Due to its proximity to Wairarapa towns, and the limited opportunities for bush walking in the district, Fensham Reserve enjoys a high level of public usage and is popular with school groups and groups of elderly people. In order to protect the interests of the lessee, public access is restricted to the areas of primary forest and regenerating hill slopes. Two entry points on Cobden Rd give access to the Circuit Track, which circumnavigates the hill and primary forest area, taking in all the changing vegetation patterns in the reserve along the way. At the northern end of this track there is a picnic area.

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Little Bush Reserve

Location: Little Bush Reserve lies near the end of Little Bush Rd, Puketitiri, which once ran further south to Hawkstone Station, joining Price-Cockburn Rd and forming the original road between Hastings and Puketitiri and is in the Maungaharuru Ecological District.
Habitat: Little Bush is a podocarp-broadleaf forest association. The main tree species are rimu, kahikatea, matai, tawa and hinau. Most of the large rimu, kahikatea, miro and matai trees were removed for timber in the 1920's, but some notable ones still remain, the largest being a rimu with a diameter of 207cm. Another rimu has a diameter of 190cm with a 6m bole and is 22m tall. Matai are mostly up to 90cm diameter with 8m bole and 21m tall, with some extending to 115cm diameter. Large areas of regeneration of rimu, matai, kahikatea, miro and totara to 60m are developing well. The stumps of the milled trees have since become hosts to large numbers of native plants including ferns, rata vine and saplings of wineberry and lemonwood. Some trees in the reserve are in excess of 500 years old. At just below 600m in altitude, the reserve contains an unusual mixture of lowland and montane plants. There is a wealth of young trees, ground cover and youthful vines, particularly around the margins.
The reserve is notable for the presence of mistletoe. There are hundreds of white mistletoe Tupeia antarctica in Little Bush, forming bushes of up to a metre or more across on its host trees, five-finger and putaputaweta. Green mistletoe Ileostylus micranthus is also present, but only one plant is known, growing on a horopito tree on the fenceline at the inner side of the paddock at the entrance to the reserve. In the Puketitiri area Tupeia antarctica is common with I. micranthus being the second commonest species of mistletoe. Another mistletoe, Alepis flavida, is known to grow on a few beech trees at Puketitiri and at Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve.Pockets of wheki Dicksonia squarrosa and wheki-ponga D. fibrosa are common throughout the reserve, forming a stark contrast to the greenness of the other foliage. Tutu Coriaria arborea is found in the reserve but is uncommon, while on adjacent forestry land the small species, C. kingiana, is present. There is one known specimen of a hinau/pokaka cross E. dentatus x hookerianus growing at around 2 metres high. The fern Blechnum vulcanicum is present.
Birds & wildlife: Tuis and bellbirds abound in the reserve and the forest echoes with their song constantly throughout the day. Other indigenous birds to see include NZ pigeon, grey warbler, North Island fantail, morepork (NZ owl), whitehead, shining cuckoo and NZ kingfisher. Pied tit visits the reserve from adjacent areas and long-tailed cuckoo is an occasional visitor. North Island kaka is reported rarely. Introduced birds in the reserve include hedgesparrow, starling, house sparrow, blackbird, song thrush and white-backed magpie. A study has shown a very healthy population of insects, many specimens of which have gone to a national collection housed in Auckland. The healthy bird and insect populations are due to sustained pest control by the previous owner, still living next door, who has managed the reserve as New Zealand's smallest mainland island since 1960.
Visiting & access: It is 5kms from Napier-Puketitiri Rd, 55kms west of Napier and 5kms east of the Black Birch Range, which is part of the Kaweka State Forest Park. By car it is one hour's drive from Napier. For further information relating to this reserve please contact Napier Branch, 36 Waterhouse Street, Taradale, Napier 4001.
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Te Wairoa-Dorothy Baker Memorial Reserve

Location: The reserve is located on Clearview Rd off Mountain Rd (State Highway 3A), to the east of New Plymouth and 2km south of Lepperton railway station and part of Egmont Ecological District.Size: 4.9127 hectares
Habitat: Te Wairoa means "long water" and was the Maori name for a large wetland that once existed in the vicinity. The vegetation in Te Wairoa Reserve consists of semi-coastal broadleaved forest, of which less than 1% remains in the ecological region. The forest type is tawa-kohekohe-puriri-titoki-rewarewa forest with karaka and localised pukatea and maire tawaki. The understorey is relatively open, a testament to past undergrazing from which the forest has not fully recovered. Overall the diversity of the forest is moderate. There are several clearings within the forest and open areas along road boundaries. There is a large open area of flat land in the north-eastern corner containing kiokio Blechnum novae-zelandiae.

Birds & wildlife: Common native bird species: NZ pigeon, North Island fantail, grey warbler, tui, and silvereye. Pukeko are found in the grassland and wetland areas at the north-eastern end of the reserve. New Zealand falcon and Australasian harrier are seen flying overhead. Common introduced bird species: chaffinch, goldfinch, white-back magpie, song thrush, blackbird and starling.

Visiting & access: There is a small carpark on Clearview Rd that provides direct access into the reserve. There is a stile to get over the fence but no tracks inside the reserve. For further information relating to this reserve please contact North Taranaki Branch, Tel (06) 759 1446, 23A Timandra Street, New Plymouth.

Conway's Bush Reserve

Location: Conway's Bush is located approximately 11km north-west of Geraldine on the upper plains of South Canterbury. It is 33km from the coastline and is in the Geraldine Ecological District.Size: 2.5420 hectares
Habitat: The reserve consists of a fragment of lowland totara-matai forest with fingers of exotic grassland running through the centre and on the north-eastern boundary. There are no very large trees present in the reserve. The relatively young nature of the forest results in a close forest that limits light to the understorey. Plant growth over the whole area is vibrant. At the north-western end a small arboretum contains local and non-local introduced native species. The forest areas of Conway's Bush are dominated by a canopy of totara and matai with some kahikatea and narrow-leaved lacebark Hoheria angustifolia. Species in the sub-canopy tier include puahou Pseudopanax arboreus, kowhai Sophora microphylla, tarata, kohuhu, Melicytus angustifolia, mahoe, narrow-leaved lacebark and lancewood. Climbers include large-leaved muehlenbeckia, present as a small growth, NZ jasmine and native clematis Clematis paniculata. Species in the shrub tier include Coprosma crassifolia, kohuhu, totara, five finger, poataniwha Melicope simplex, kowhai and mahoe. A species of moss is common on the forest floor and ferns, while distributed about the forest, tend to be clumped at shaded and rocky sites.
The walled arboretum contains similar species to the main forest area but also has non-local species including some mature beech (Nothofagus fusca, N. solandri var. solandri, N. menziesii. The exotic grasslands was previously grazed and are now covered with long introduced grasses, notably cocksfoot and browntop, but bracken is present as a colonising species along with scattered shrubs, mostly mingimingi Coprosma propinqua and stiff karamu C. rigida. In places broadleaved species are beginning to establish and evidence of seeding from canopy trees can be seen. A species of moss (Brachythecium sp?) is clumped at shaded or damp sites in the grassland.
Birds & wildlife: NZ pigeon are plentiful when the podocarps are fruiting and have nested at times in the reserve. Bellbirds and their distinctive song are numerous and are an outstanding feature of the area. Other native birds: South Island rifleman, shining cuckoo, grey warbler, NZ kingfisher, South Island fantail. The introduced blackbird is also present in the reserve and white-backed magpie is present in the surrounding area.

Visiting & access: The reserve lies on an old river terrace of the Waihi River and can be accessed from Rae Rd off the Woodbury-Waihi Gorge Rd. For further information relating to this reserve please contact South Canterbury Branch, 30 Birkett Street, Temuka.
Tel: (03) 688 2331 Click here for e-mail contact....

Te Rere Reserve

Location: Te Rere Reserve is located on the coastline near Brothers Point 7km east-south-east of Waikawa. It is 0.1km from the coastline and is in the Tahakopa Ecological District.Size: 110 hectares.
Habitat: The cut over forest occupying approximately half of the reserve is lowland hardwood-podocarp forest. Its canopy is dominated principally by kamahi with some southern rata and a few podocarps, mainly rimu and miro with some matai and Hall's totara. The subcanopy is composed of mixed broadleaved species including putaputaweta, makomako, kotukutuku, papaumu Griselinia littoralis, orihou Pseudopanax colensoi, lancewood Pseudopanax crassifolius, tree fern (Dicksonia fibrosa and D. squarrosa), scattered rimu and miro with a shrub layer of Coprosma species. Ground cover in the forest areas is mainly crown fern Blechnum discolor and bryophytes.The coastal bluffs and banks generally retain a coastal shrubland consisting of Hebe elliptica, Olearia arborescens, inaka or turpentine scrub Dracophyllum longifolium and Anisotome lyallii. In more sheltered coastal sites orihou, mapou and cassinia are more prominent. On the coastal headlands the original vegetation was replaced with pasture. These previously grazed headlands have been planted with a low density of flax. There are few other native species present on these headlands. Flax has been planted over much of the unforested areas of the reserve. More intensive plantings are made up of a mixture of species - mainly black mapou, wineberry, tree fuchsia, broadleaf, manuka, koromiko and lemonwood in sheltered gullies. Flax has also been planted on the headlands and coastal strip.
Birds & wildlife: Common native birds: NZ pigeon, South Island fantail, tui, morepork (NZ owl), pukeko, silvereye and grey warbler, while paradise shelduck and variable oystercatcher are found round the mouth of Fall's Creek. Bellbird, South Island fernbird, shining cuckoo and brown creeper have also been observed in the reserve. Southern black-backed gulls frequent the coast. The reserve was acquired for the purposes of protecting a significant habitat of yellow-eyed penguin. Introduced bird species: redpoll, starling, blackbird, song thrush, hedgesparrow and yellowhammer.
Yellow-eyed Penguins
The most notable bird in the reserve is yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho Megadyptes antipodes. The major populations of hoiho are found in remote sites, mainly the Auckland and Campbell Islands in the sub-antarctic. They also breed on the coasts of Canterbury, Otago and Southland, and on Stewart Island. On mainland New Zealand they are regarded as endangered and they are very rare overall. Te Rere Reserve is one of the primary habitats on the mainland for hoiho.

Hoiho prefer to nest in forest and, being a solitary nesting species, will not nest within sight of another bird. Therefore, to maintain a viable population a relatively large area of intact vegetation is required.

Before the devastating fire in 1995 there were in excess of 40 nests present in the reserve. The fire resulted in the death of over 50 birds and disrupted the breeding effort the next year. Since the fire, nests increased to 27 in 1997/98, but dropped to less than 20 nests in the 1998/99 and 1999/2000 seasons.

Visiting & access: It has legal access along the coast from the south via an extension of Falkiner Rd, but this route is only suitable for walking access and 4WD vehicles. A more suitable inland route is possible along farm tracks from Mill Rd, off Yorke Rd, but requires permission of the adjacent private landowners. The only tracks in the reserve are unmarked routes used for management purposes. Access is restricted to avoid disturbance of the yellow-eyed penguin. For further information relating to this reserve please contact Southland Branch, PO Box 1155, Invercargill.
Tel: (03) 213 0732
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