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Kauri dieback survey over Bay of Plenty

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017

An aerial search for signs of kauri dieback disease in the northern Kaimai range and surrounding areas is set to begin this week.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council biosecurity manager Greg Corbett says there has been no sign of the disease reported in the province to date.

He says the aerial survey is a chance to confirm the disease-free status or to identify symptoms as early as possible.

The council has pooled resources with Waikato Regional Council to fly over the area as part of a wider search effort which extends over the Coromandel Peninsula and Hunua ranges.

The Kaimai range is the southern extent of New Zealand's kauri population.

Dieback is caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism called Phytophthora agathidicida, which infects the roots, starving the tree of nutrients and water.

Once a kauri has the disease, there is no cure.

The survey is due to begin this week and will be done over five days during February, the dates to be determined by the weather.

It will involve a fixed-wing plane flying in a grid or circular pattern over the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park and over nearby properties around the Waihi and Katikati areas.

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