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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Ecology arrow Marine Resources in Tai Tokerau
Marine Resources in Tai Tokerau PDF Print
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Articles - Ecology
Written by Brenda Hay & Coral Grant, AquaBio Consultants Ltd.   
Friday, 17 September 2010

Physical and Marine Ecology of Ngunguru

An extract:

The area of coastline encompassing Ngunguru and Horahora estuaries comprises a large and complex mosaic of wetland habitats – open sand beaches, a sandspit, tidal mud-flats and sand-flats, saltmarshes and mangroves, brackish and freshwater swamps with diverse sedge, rush, shrub, flax and cabbage tree communities.   The dominant vegetation is mangrove forest. The whole area is continuous with three terrestrial forested habitats, including regenerating forest at Whareora. Part of the value of the wetland lies in the rare occurrence of unbroken zones from saline to fresh water communities, through to terrestrial communities. The absence of extensive open tidal flats reduces the opportunities for both variety and numbers of wading birds, but the high proportion of vegetated wetland, with long margins where open water meets vegetation, creates habitats for some other birds on a scale unknown elsewhere in Northland (Ogle, 1982). As mentioned earlier, it is considered a high value coastal and estuarine habitat (Ogle, 1982). The area is most notable for the presence of the rare bird species, banded rail, bittern, and fernbird (at Horahora), and also occasional NZ and banded dotterels, and kiwi. Brown teal and white heron have been reported infrequently at Horahora. Also present are variable oystercatchers, pukeko, shags (little and pied) gulls, white faced heron, ducks (mallard & grey) paradise shelduck, and upland game birds (pheasant and quail). NZ dotterels breed on Ngunguru sandspit and in Horahora estuary.

The habitat at Ngunguru is relatively unmodified, but there is increasing pressure from residential development and recreational use.

The habitat at Ngunguru is relatively unmodified, but there is increasing pressure from residential development and recreational use. The area of mangrove has been recorded as increasing (DoC, 1991). The estuary at Horahora, with its small mud-flats and large expanses of mangroves and saltmarsh, is still comparatively unmodified.

The pohutukawa in coastal areas at Ngunguru Bay were surveyed in 1988/89 as part of an assessment of the health of the species carried out by the Forest Institute for the Department of Conservation (Hosking et al. 1989). This survey indicated that possum damage was significantly impacting on the health of the crowns of the trees. In a recent re-survey, a plot in Ngunguru Bay still showed significant possum damage (Hosking, 2000).

Full story...

Prepared for the James Henare Mäori Research Centre's Capacity Building for Sustainable Mäori Development research programme, 2003.

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