Thomas Consultants joined a project team to survey local residents in Auckland about lava rock forest and how they care for it. Lava rock forest is forest that grows on lava rock following a volcanic eruption and has been severely reduced in extent with less than 0.5% of its original pre-European extent in the Auckland Isthmus remaining. The ecological project provided for a landowner assistance programme to protect and restore lava rock forest on private properties in Epsom, Auckland.

Thomas Consultants was engaged to implement stage 1 of the project and worked with 35 private landowners. This included:

  • an initial site visit to complete a rapid ecological assessment of the lava rock forest on the property
  • a landowner survey to determine if landowners are already doing any weed and pest animal control in the lava rock forest, potential barriers to doing more and suitability for incentive tools
  • preparing a biodiversity action plan for landowners to inspire and assist landowners to protect and enhance lava rock forest on their property this included information on threats and recommended management actions including best practice methods of control for weeds and pest animals
  • a follow up site visit to go through the biodiversity action plan, provided factsheets and use of incentive tools provided (if required). Incentive tools included rat traps and motel, Timms traps and weed bags.