Welcome to the Waikato Regional Council's web pages on forest fragments. Forest fragments (small patches of native forest) have their own particular threats and management needs because of their small size, isolation from other forest areas and range of activities that occur on the land around them. You will find information about the extent and types of forest fragments in the Waikato region and threats to these patches of native forest. You will also find out about protecting and managing our region’s remaining forest fragments.
On this page: About forest fragments, Why forest fragments are important, Types of forest fragments, Fragmentation in our region, What you can do with your forest fragment, Other useful links
Forest fragments are usually the patchy remains of larger native forests, left over when land around them has been cleared. Some fragments are new areas of forest which have grown back on cleared land. Small, isolated pockets of native forest are often too small to support some native plants or animals. They are also easily damaged by pests or stock.
Most of our region’s forest fragments are small (88 percent of them are 25 ha or less). We need to manage and protect fragments because in some areas they are all that is left of our native forests. These pages explain the special problems fragments face, and provide tips to help them survive.
The Waikato region has over 4,000 native forest stands that are smaller than 25 ha. The most common forest types in these small patches are:
The rest of our forest fragments are kanuka or manuka, kauri and beech forest.
Originally, the Waikato was covered in a few massive tracts of native forest. Today these have been fragmented into thousands of patches of native forest ranging in size from less than 1 ha to a 94,000 ha stand of forest in the Coromandel Ranges. However, the vast majority of our fragments are smaller than 25 ha.
In some parts of the region these small fragments are all we have left. Hamilton City, for instance, has only a few areas of native forest that are bigger than 25 ha – two thirds of Hamilton’s native forest is in small fragments. Native forest in Waipa and Franklin Districts is also very fragmented with about 20 percent of their native forest occurring within fragments smaller than 25 ha.
Find out more about forest fragmentation in our indicator.
There are many ways to make the most of your forest fragment:
More than 245 landowners in the Region have protected over 500 patches of native vegetation (more than 9,000 ha in total) through Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants. Many of these are forest fragments.
There are many ways to protect and enhance our Waikato forest fragments. Find out how to restore a forest fragment.
Check out our indicator on native vegetation changes and coverage in the Waikato region.
For information on how the management of forest fragments fits into Waikato Regional Council's policies for biodiversity in the region, check out our Regional Policy Statement.
For information on the types of activities in forest fragments that might require resource consents from Waikato Regional Council, check out our Waikato Regional Plan and Section 5.1 of the plan in particular.
The information in this topic was produced with support from Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. Find out more about Landcare Research on our information and contacts page.