The Mount Bruce Forest was once part of a much greater forst strecthing from Masterton to Norsewood called the 70-Mile Bush. The 70-Mile-bush contained many species of tree including rimu, totara and northern rata as well as ferns, shrubs, climbers and herbs.
In this fertile habitat, animals, insects, frogs, lizards and tutara lived and thrived. In bird terms, the 70-Mile Bush supported huia, kokako the saddleback and piopio and laughing owls.
The Mount Bruce forest, at 1000-hectares, is all that remains of the 70-mile bush. Extensive and intensive pest-control are central to the long-term restoration of the project.
One of the great successes of the restoration project has been the kaka. When the project started there were under 10 birds, now there are now around 70. At the feeding time, many of the birds are untagged, meaning that they were born and grew in the wild.
The current condition of Mount Bruce forest is a testament to Mans destruction of the environment and glowing testament to the work of those at Mount Bruce and the DOC who are working hard to restore the forest as best they can and with some success.
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Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook