The park’s 113 weeds species are mostly associated with former farms and bach areas. They have the potential to seriously compromise native forest regeneration if not brought under control.
In 2014, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust began a $200,000 weed control programme, supported by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, targeting high-priority weeds like grevillea, wattle, holly, old man’s beard, pampas and tradescantia. At Totaranui, climbing vines like Japanese honeysuckle, jasmine and banana passionfruit, and willows in the wetland area were controlled.
Project Janszoon took over follow-up work in 2016, focusing on target species that were either missed, or had sprung up after initial control. DOC continues to manage boxthorn and the aggressive Australian wonga wonga vine in the north of the Park.
Bach owners have been very supportive, removing plants on private land that were causing problems in the Park. Old man’s beard and banana passionfruit on the Park’s western fringes are also sources of reinvasion, so Project Janszoon has collaborated with Project De-Vine in this area.
Looking forward, as the existing weed problem is reined in, the test will be to prevent the introduction of new weed problems into the Park – a challenge that will require Project Janszoon, landowners, DOC and the Tasman District Council to work together.
Photo credit Wade Million, Project DeVine