How mountain bikers can help save Kauri
Kauri dieback disease is killing one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s taonga (treasures) – our unique kauri forests. But kauri will be saved … with the help of people like you.
- Keep a cleaning kit in your vehicle that includes brushes, an adequate supply of Sterigene (which is available from vet clinics), and plastic bags for bagging any gear that can’t be cleaned on-site. To avoid spreading contaminated soil inside your vehicle, pack a second pair of footwear for the drive home.
- Carry a brush and disinfectant on your ride too.
- Clean all soil off your tyres, frame (including recesses), clothing, bag, accessories and footwear, every time you enter or leave an area with native trees, and as you enter a new catchment. This is to avoid introducing the disease to a new area, or moving it from an area where the disease is. A pinhead of soil is enough to spread the disease. Do not use water (including stream water) to clean gear, unless it will be captured in a sewer, for instance – the pathogen that causes dieback is a water mould, and is activated by water.
- Use disinfectant only after you have removed all the soil; spray it on all the areas that have come into contact with soil.
- Only ride on designated mountain bike tracks. These should avoid going near kauri wherever possible (a kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x as far as a tree’s branches). If an area has been closed or is protected by a rahui, do not use it. Closures are only made when the risk of spreading the disease from an area is extremely high, or because that area is at extraordinary risk.
- Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show it.
- Spread the word within your networks about the need for mountain bikers to help stop the spread of kauri dieback, and be seen doing the right thing. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.