Stop Kauri Dieback – helping to save our Kauri
Kauri dieback is a major concern for the conservation of Northland and New Zealand kauri forests. Kauri dieback is being identified in new locations and can be spread by people moving between areas. Stop Kauri Dieback is a web-based tool and app to enable forest visitors, trampers, walkers and conservation volunteers to record sightings of kauri dieback. The information is then checked by local experts to confirm or reject potential sightings before they are included in the Stop Kauri Dieback database and its maps.
Stop Kauri Dieback interacts with social media and allows rapid connection with all forest users, allowing people to take the key steps to stop the spread of kauri dieback, such as boot washing and avoiding infected areas.
Stop Kauri Dieback empowers local iwi to exercise and express their kaitiakitanga (guardianship) over kauri in their area of interest, as well as giving the wider community and individuals the tools to help stop the spread of dieback in their area.
What conservation problem are you trying to solve?
Kauri dieback is seriously affecting one of our iconic native tree species. We are continuing to learn about kauri dieback but we know it can be spread on very small amounts of soil on boots. It’s critical we quickly understand where it is showing up and mobilise people to take the key preventative measures like boot washing and avoiding infected areas. Stop Kauri Dieback, through its app that forest visitors have on their mobile phone, offers an ideal solution.
How are you going to solve this conservation problem?
An easy-to-use mobile app that links back to a web-based data repository and mapping facility will be developed. Stop Kauri Dieback promises to be highly effective by involving all forest visitors in identifying this threat. The app will provide information on avoiding spread and help users identify possible dieback symptoms and show where dieback is known to be present. Development and refinement of the tool will be undertaken to integrate with existing initiatives to manage kauri dieback.
What makes your idea new and unique?
There is currently no mechanism for rapid identification, tracking and communication of kauri dieback that could help reduce its spread. Stop Kauri Dieback would be the first interactive tool that is completely accessible to the public and conservation experts alike. It would therefore involve and empower local iwi and the wider community in the battle to save our kauri.It will engage and enable people and the community and build knowledge of kauri dieback.
Who will use your idea, and how will they benefit?
Iwi, community, tourists, conservation professionals and all forest users will use this tool. Stop Kauri Dieback will enable iwi to fulfil their role as kaitiaki (guardians) and become more active in the identification and management of this disease. It will allow all people visiting kauri forests to become ‘disease reporters’. It will provide conservation experts with invaluable information to effectively fight kauri dieback.
What tasks or activities do you need investment for? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?
To contribute to development of the Stop Kauri Dieback website and app.Promoting and supporting use of the tool.
Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?
List five other ideas posted in the challenge that excite you. Why?
Lizard tales: conservation of lizards is under addressed. These projects are an exciting opportunity for the wider community to get up close and hands on with biodiversity in its local area.
Wasp wipe out: We all hate wasps – they have a major impact on native species and on our enjoyment of the environment. This is something whole communities would appreciate.
Long live the kakakpo. Any useful possibilities to increase the chances of survival of this iconic species should be investigated
Immersive conservation: easily accessed and interesting tools for teachers are helpful as part of the wider education mix
Wild about NZ Wildlife: providing greater opportunity for soft release of birds and others species and promoting skills and use of this technique will provide further opportunity for community engagement
How could you improve your idea?
We would work with a focus group of representatives from Iwi, forest users and agencies working on Kauri Dieback, to help determine the best structure of the tool and its support and delivery.
Introduce different levels of access to data – potentially enabling access to detailed locations to experts and more generalised location information to the public. This would be influenced by feedback from the range of users and stakeholders involved.
Interactive and interesting reporting of trends over time. Integration of interactive mapping displays would improve interest. Enabling a wide range of users and media to look at the change in distribution over time
Developing links with researchers to provide data to them quickly and allow more detailed analytics of disease spread and management.
Engagement of schools with the tool to provide learning and use of modern digital devices – spreading knowledge to whole community. Sharing experiences and ideas with the immersive conservation idea in this challenge could be useful around this.
Building a working group with iwi around the development and use of the tool – and using this to incorporate matauranga maori in aspects of the information and display.