Without intervention by many groups, the ridgelines of the Abel Tasman would have eventually turned into wilding pine forests.  Being able to avert this slow-motion train wreck has been an unglamorous task, but a major step forward in the restoration of the park.

In 2010, the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust began a $650,000 project to control pines of cone-bearing age from high priority coastal areas of the park.  The arrival of Project Janszoon meant the completion of this initial project was accelerated, and the initial strike was completed in 2015.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of wilding pines have been poisoned, stretching from Tinline Bay in the south to Taupo Point in the north. Follow-up control has been undertaken by Project Janszoon and DOC, with the Birdsong Trust completing the initial control of some small remaining areas, with support from the Abel Tasman Foreshore Scenic Reserve Fund.

Removing wilding pines is hard work and a massive logistical challenge. Access is often difficult with contractors having to work on steep and isolated hillsides. The impact is almost immediate and the grey skeletons of dead pines are now seen throughout the park.

Ultimately, the removal of pines will allow native forest to recover, transforming the park’s skyline and providing habitat for native species. While the pines have been halted in their tracks, another ten years of vigilance will be needed to ensure they do not get away again.

WILDING PINE CONTROL 

 Stilwell Bay stand – before & after

Anchorage Stand – before & after