Improving Biodiversity in the Manawahe Ecological Corridor
The Manawahe Eco Trust was formed to manage the community’s interest in improving biodiversity in native forest within the Manawahe Ecological Corridor. It is a registered Charitable Trust and currently has five Trustees partnered with voluntary support from local community members.
With help from volunteers, the Manawahe Eco Trust is committed to managing and enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The Manawahe Ecological Corridor is the only forested ecological corridor that exists between the Rotorua lakes and the sea. Contained within the corridor are populations of threatened species which include the iconic species of kokako. The important landscape features within the corridor have been recognised as an outstanding regional ecological asset.
The Manawahe Ecological Corridor is so named because the remnants of natural habitat between Lake Rotoma and the coast form a continuation of the diverse ecosystem types that can be found across this 300m altitudinal range.
The area protected in the lower reaches of the Corridor represent just 1% of the ecosystem type that was found on the Rangitaiki plains before they were drained for farming.
Much of the high-profile work on protecting the bush in the Manawahe has focused on the breeding area of a Kokako population. Since the mid-1990s the population has grown from 14 to 53 birds.
NATIVE BIRD & INVERTEBRATE POPULATIONS
As well as the kokako, the bush is home to lively populations of tui as well as bellbirds, tomtits, grey warblers, cuckoo’s, fantail, kereru and there have been sightings of whitehead and robin .The diverse habitats that can be found throughout the bush are home to an abundance of invertebrates some that have yet to be studied including the Giant Centipede. Forest Gecko and Pacific Gecko were found in a study in 2007.