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Results from our latest round of surveillance further pinpoint kauri dieback locations.

A national surveillance programme is underway to determine the distribution of kauri dieback in New Zealand. Knowing which forests are still healthy and which are contaminated is critical to ground management. As kauri dieback spores are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, our surveillance programme often depends on reliable detection and diagnostic methods to confirm if soil or plant samples are PTA positive. A collaborative partnership between our programme and Landcare Research, Scion Research and Plant & Food Research have successfully developed a standard method to bait PTA out of soil into pure culture and then genetically sequence each isolate to confirm the identity of each cultures as being PTA. Using the genetic sequences of PTA, a direct DNA probe is also under development which may allow for the faster detection of PTA in the field.

The second major soil testing programme around kauri tree sites was recently concluded in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Sites being tested included areas in significant kauri stands and iconic trees.

Site-specific management plans are being developed to manage the disease where it has been found.

The Programme acknowledges that time pressure to get fieldwork underway meant involvement of Tangata Whenua was compromised - both for tendering for participation in fieldwork and for providing liaison follow up with mana whenua and site land owners.

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Gods of the forest

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by The Kauri Dieback Programme

New Zealanders are a pretty proud bunch, which should come as no surprise given we've got a lot to be proud of! This rings particularly true when it comes to our love of the outdoors and the emphasis we place on the preservation of our unique forest biodiversity. What many don't realise is the extent to which this pride in our natural heritage influences newcomers to our country and becomes an inter-cultural commonality within the melting pot of New Zealanders.

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