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The island is also classified as a nationally significant geological site.  Prior to human habitants, the island would have been covered mainly in coastal forest dominated by kauri, tanekaha, kahikatea, rimu, totara, northern rata, pohutukawa, maire, kamahi, and perhaps hard beech. The main period of deforestation probably coincided with human occupation around 800 years ago, however some forest cover may have survived until as recently as 150 years ago.  A low cover of indigenous scrub, shrublands and grasslands would have developed following deforestation, subject to occasional burning.  By the late 19th century a sheep and cattle station was established on the seaward strip, however establishment of exotic plantations started in the late 1920s and these now cover most of the dunes, excluding the seaward margin and freshwater wetlands at the northern end of the island.

Last changed: May 04 2010 at 7:24 PM