Map of the area
DOC has received several accounts of deer sightings within the Kōhī Point Scenic Reserve, with the most recent sighting by Departmental staff on 18 May.
The unique coastal forest within Kōhī Point, and taonga species that inhabit the reserve are at risk.
“Deer pose a significant and ongoing threat to New Zealand’s native forests and grassland ecosystems. They prevent the regeneration of plant species they eat, which causes significant changes to the structure and composition of native ecosystems,” explains Biodiversity Ranger Cameron Houston.
To prevent a deer population from becoming established DOC is acting quickly. A contractor employed by DOC will be using a firearm and a detector dog, which has had avian avoidance training, to ensure the local kiwi and weka population are not affected.
The Ngā Tapuwae o Toi walkway will be closed between Kapu Te Rangi pā and the north-western end of Ōtarawairere Bay. Advanced notice signs have been placed at entrance points to the track, with additional track closure signage being installed on the day of the closure.
DOC is working closely with the Whakatāne District Council, who manage the track. The two track entrance points will be staffed to ensure no-one enters the track while the operation is being carried out.
DOC apologises for any inconvenience caused by the track closure and thank the public and visitors for their cooperation while this important pest control operation is carried out.
If anyone in the community has information on deer sightings within the Kōhī Point Scenic Reserve please contact Ranger Cameron Houston directly.