Kaitoke Fireground Restoration
- Strategy for Management of invasive plants over Winter 2013 -
weed control and rodent and wildlife monitoring

by Jeremy Warden

The following recommendations take into account what can be achieved in the proceeding couple of months. Typically this time of year sees slowed plant growth restricting the range of control methods we can use to control weeds. This is reflected in the list of weed species we have selected for control.

Weeds in close proximity to the fire ground are also incorporated in the control plan as they are acting as a seed source, and likely to aid further spread.

It should be noted that DOC have carried out weed control work in the fixed dune area between Ocean view Road to the North end of Kaitoke beach and hope to get further funding next financial year to expand on this area.

Looking down on the Kaitoke fireground - a major incident for us this
season, but we forget how extensively fire was used by pioneer farmers
on Great Barrier to clear forest and encourage grass growth for farming.

For reference purposes we have identified 4 areas that we propose to carry out the weed control;

(1) Dune Area
Tane fire break provides a demarcation line between larger woody invasive plants and the dune area. The following is proposed for this zone:
• Pine removal – seedling pines within the dune area and removals along the landward side of Tane fire break to create a buffer. Action – Cut & hand pull.
• Tasmanian Blackwood- A group of trees have established halfway along this firebreak. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Coral Tree- A small group of these trees are growing in a dune hollow at the northern end of the beach. Action-Cut and paste remove material off site to prevent branches re sprouting.
• Blackberry- DOC have treated the site at the north end of the beach.
• Bone seed- A single plant was discovered and removed from the dunes in 2011. The closest site to this plant is north of Kaitoke creek. Action-grid search and hand pull.

(2)NE Side and end of the Main Runway
• Brush Wattle- Abundant emergence of seedlings at the end of tar seal run way on both sides. Action-use a desiccant herbicide to reduce the number of seedlings.
• Coastal Banksia- Present along edge of run way. Action – Cut & hand pull.
• Pampas- Large infestation at the end of the main run way. Action – spray in spring

(3) Southern Area
The boundaries of this area are Hector Sanderson Road to the Main Runway, and the Grandstand to the Arts Village. Most of this area escaped being burnt by the fire but is host to a couple of serious weeds which will spread into the burn area if left.
• Lantana-This is a total control Plant and can be seen beside the Old PO access way. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Bushy Asparagus-In the past plants of this species have been removed from opposite Claris store through to the Old Post Office. It is advised this area be grid searched. Action – Detect & Dig out.
• Coastal Banksia-This plant is abundant between Claris Store and the main runway and has the potential to be a significant problem in Sandy soils throughout the burn area. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Large leafed Groundsel-This plant is established at the back of the Old Post Office and thrives in sandy soils, withstands shade or full sun. The windblown seeds could be carried onto the fire ground and establish new infestations. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Casurina-A few plants of this species have established along the SW edge of the short runway by the fill access way. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Austrian, Monterey & Maritime Pine-cut out small trees(<200mm) along the edge of the main runway. Action-Cut & hand pull.
• Aristea-100m2 patch at the NE end of the main runway, which if left will spread through the surrounding Environment . Action – Cover with black polythene and bury with clean fill.
• Brush Wattle-Remove adult plants on the edge of the runway. Action– Cut & hand pull.

(4) Policeman’s Swamp Road Boundary (Including the Grandstand)
• Lantana – Eradication was hopefully achieved some years ago with plants found between the roadside and swamp, opposite the police station. This site is now open, and with higher light levels will allow any seed in the seed bank to germinate. Action – Grid search and hand-pull any seedlings.
• Acmena – Seedlings are present around culvert outlets. Action-hand pull and cut and paste.
• Guava – Seedlings are present around culvert outlets. Action-hand pull and cut and paste.
• Honey Suckle – Plants treated on the swamp side of the road between the pound and Kauri glen. Action-Keep monitoring yearly.
• Indian Hawthorn – Present on the Grandstand. Action– Cut & hand pull.
• Brush Wattle- Abundant emergence of seedlings opposite the police station which have had one Herbicide treatment. Action – use a desiccant herbicide to reduce seedling numbers on areas that have few non target species.
• Sydney Blue Gum-Target seedlings and small trees (<200mm). Action-Cut and paste.

Rodent and Wildlife Monitoring
To determine rodent baseline indices and to help determine the presence of Skink and Gecko species.
• Install 8 monitoring lines, 6 in the burnt area (See map) and 2 outside of this area on the DOC block to the SW. The placement of the lines will ensure representative environments are sampled.
• Each line will consist of 10 plastic tracking tunnels spaced at 50m apart, numbered and GPS marked.
• Ink Trakka cards baited with peanut butter will then placed in the tunnels, left for three days and then collected.
• This process will be repeated 3 times over a series of months.
• Collected cards will be examined, with any skink or Gecko imprints sent off for identification.