42 people found this article useful

10 Ways to Protect New Zealand’s Forests

Tree hugging in New Zealand.

You’ll hear the phrase “bush walk” a lot in New Zealand. That’s because walking through the native forest is a favourite past time. You’ll see native plants not found anywhere else, especially beech forests, kauri forests, and New Zealand’s plant icon the New Zealand fern.

Before humans inhabited New Zealand, the country was 80% forest. It was the perfect habitat for wildlife, such as kiwi, takahe and tuatara – just to name a few. But since the arrival of humans, fires and agriculture have cleared most of the land of forest, leaving around 24%.

These remaining areas of forest are protected today, however, foreign pests and diseases pose the biggest threat to native plants and wildlife. Although you can enjoy the forests, it’s crucial that visitors respect them. This TOP list will show you the ways you can help protect New Zealand’s forests.

HiFX - Money Transfer

1. Volunteer for the Department of Conservation (DoC)

DoC is the governing body that overlooks the conservation of New Zealand’s forests, amongst other things. You can volunteer to help maintain and protect forests for both humans and native wildlife to enjoy. See how you can volunteer here.

http://4wdnewz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/short-back-and-sides-for-42-traverse.html

2. Use designated campsites and backcountry huts

Campsites and huts have the facilities designed for your convenience, while having minimal impact on the environment. This is more environmentally-friendly than freedom camping. Check out more in our article: Camping in New Zealand.

http://www.bayofplentynz.com/content/images/17/991x383crop/Riverside_Camping.jpg

3. Don’t litter

Take your rubbish out of the forest with you. Litter can trap wildlife, animals and birds can choke on it, attract pests and bacteria, and it makes the forest look a mess!

http://files.g27.org/pics/IMG_0413.JPG

4. Visit sanctuaries

Sanctuaries are specially protected areas of New Zealand for native plant life and wildlife to live and grow. Paying to visit a sanctuary like Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari and Zealandia, is a contribution to the upkeep of the sanctuary. Find out more about the work Sanctuary Mountain is doing, and for cute kiwi pictures, here: Saving Smaug the Kiwi Bird.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. Old New Zealand.

5. Donate to organisations protecting the forests

Charities and organisations protect native forests and the wildlife living in them, mainly through pest control. You can donate to DoC, Kiwis for Kiwi, Forest & Bird, Sanctuary Mountain and more.

http://www.chilterncentre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads//2012/10/the-chiltern-centre-company-donations.jpg

6. Go hunting for pests

A more hands-on approach to protecting the forests and their wildlife is by hunting. Hunt for pests, such as possums, deers, pigs and goats, which pose a threat to vegetation and native wildlife. See where you can hunt and what to hunt on the DoC website.

http://www.ruatitiwilderness.co.nz/gallery/Uncategorised/hunting-ruatiti/156888?view=list&order=name

7. Walk on the tracks

New Zealand’s forests have a large network of walking tracks. This is so people don’t end up trampling all over plants and nests. Also, resist the temptation to touch pest traps.

http://i.imgur.com/8XZn5MC.jpg

8. Don’t light a fire

Remember what happened to Bambi’s mother! There is a fire ban in all conservation areas. You need a fire permit from DoC to light a fire even 1km outside of a conservation area.

http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1363917197/636/8414636.jpg

9. Respect the rules of walking tracks

DoC signs in forest will symbolise what you can and cannot do in the protected area, such as mountain biking, horse riding, hunting, etc. Some walks have stations to wash your hiking shoes. Respect this by using them to stop the spread of disease.

http://www.oldpobackpackers.co.nz/images/gallery/doc-sign-ranfurly.jpg

10. Check hiking and camping gear for pests

It sounds crazy that you could accidentally bring mice or ants into a forest, but it has been known to happen. Pests can be rainbow skinks ants, mice and rats. Soil and seeds are also pests, so it’s important to clean this off your gear before delving into the forest.

http://onthewight.com/wp-content/2013/09/Dirty-Walking-Boots-by-James-Blunt-Photography.jpg

New Zealand's Biggest Gap Year on YouTube
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Base Hostels
Tourism NZ
Inspiration

10 Damn Good Reasons to Take a Gap Year in New Zealand

These reasons will make you want to do a Gap Year in [...]

This Life in Trips
Inspiration

11 Bloggers Share Their Favourite Place in New Zealand

What full-time travellers like about New Zealand. New Zealand is often described [...]

http://imgur.com/lGz8g8J
Food

The Best (and Worst) Seafood to Eat When in New Zealand

Make good choices! Getting some classic New Zealand  fish and chips and [...]

http://imgur.com/syOIVGM
New Zealand Culture

The Maori Culture in New Zealand

Traditions meet contemporary life in this fascinating New Zealand culture. During your [...]

Search
Popular searches: Budget, Free, Jobs, Travel Tips, Rotorua
HiFX - Money Transfer
Hot on Backpacker Guide
South Island Regions
http://www.mikeisaak.com/gallery-images/nugget-point-lighthouse-final-latest-edit.jpg

Catlins – Guide for Backpackers

Things to do and sights to see in the Catlins. Tucked away […]

Ski Season
Tourism NZ

Ski Season in New Zealand: North Island or South Island?

Should you spend the New Zealand ski season in the North Island […]

Hiking
http://imgur.com/BM9X3GR

5 Walks You Can’t Miss in South Taranaki

The paths less travelled in Taranaki. The walking tracks in South Taranaki […]

We're on youtube!
Join us on YouTube!

This year we spend 365 DAYS tackling 365 ACTIVITIES all across New Zealand and posting new videos every day!

Watch the adventure!