Kokako pair on Puketi plateau, 2018

Welcome to Puketi Forest

Puketi Forest is an ancient kauri (Agathis australis) forest located in the heart of New Zealand’s Northland. Along with Omahuta Forest, it forms one of the largest contiguous tracts of native forest in Northland.

Within their 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) Puketi and Omahuta Forests contain magnificent stands of kauri, podocarp and hardwood trees and a rich ecological diversity including 370 recorded species of plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world.

The forest once supported numerous and diverse birdlife, but introduced pests have sadly reduced these through competition and predation. Unique species such as rifleman, whitehead, bellbird, kaka and red- and yellow-crowned parakeets are no longer present. Populations of remaining native birds such as North Island brown kiwi, kukupa (New Zealand pigeon), fernbird and pied tit are much reduced and also face local extinction without intervention. Toutouwai (New Zealand robin) were returned to the forest by the trust in 2009 and 2010.  Kokako were reintroduced from 2012 to 2014.

Before human influence, New Zealand’s only land mammals were two species of bats. Small populations of both these species remain in Puketi and require protection.

In the past, Puketi was central to the lives of Maori and early European settlers. Its plants and animals provided food, shelter and clothing. In the late 19th century and first half of last century, its huge kauri trees supported thriving timber and kauri gum industries.

The forest is now protected as part of Northland Forest Park and is administered by the New Zealand government Department of Conservation (DOC).

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