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Opuatia Peat Bog Management Plan

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Report: TR 2011/10
Author: Wildland Consultants

Abstract

The Opuatia Wetland is situated north of Lake Whangape in the lower Waikato River catchment, North Waikato. Approximately 180 hectares ofthe wetland is peat bog, and the remainder is swamp and fen dominated by willow forest and manuka.

Opuatia Wetland is one of a handful of wetlands in New Zealand that contain areas of restiad bog. Restiad bogs are unique to New Zealand with peat being derived from restiad species such as wire rush (Empodisma minus) and/or cane rush (Sporodanthus ferrugineus) rather than Sphagnum mosses. A number of threatened species inhabit the Opuatia Wetland, including several orchids, carnivorous bladderworts and long finned eel. It is also good habitat for many other native fish, birds and plants due to its size and mosaic of wetland types.

Waikato Regional Council manages a property at Opuatia that includes 90 hectares of the Opuatia Wetland, 29 hectares of which is a young restiad peat bog fringed by fen and swamp. As mitigation for flood protection activities, Waikato Regional Council was required to develop and implement a management plan for the entire wetland area. This management plan was developed in 2001 and has largely been implemented.

Waikato Regional Council is now looking to create a new management plan which is specific to the peat bog area.

Opuatia Peat Bog Management Plan (1 mb)

Table of contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Project brief 1
1.2 Methodology 1
2 Background 1
3 Management objectives 1
4 Description 3
4.1 Location, legal description and tenure 3
4.2 Climate 3
4.3 Geology and soils 5
4.4 Hydrology 6
4.5 Birds 6
4.6 Flora 8
4.7 Vegetation 9
5 Management issues 13
5.1 Hydrology 13
5.2 Vertebrate pests 14
5.3 Plant pests 14
5.4 Nutrient enrichment 18
6 Restoration and implementation plan 18
6.1 Hydrology 18
6.2 Vertebrate pests 19
6.3 Plant pests 19
6.4 Nutrient enrichment 22
6.5 Revegetation 22
7 Implementation and monitoring 24
  Acknowledgments 26
  References 26
 Appendix 1 Indigenous vascular flora of the Waikato Regional Council peat bog at Opuatia Wetland 28