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Oratia Reserve

The Oratia reserve is 9.5 ha of kauri forest, podocarp and broadleaf species.

It is inhabited by regionally rare and important plants such as: Monoao pines (Halocarpus kirkii and Manoao colensoi), ancient ferns (Schizaea dichotoma), swamp maire trees (Syzgium maire), and orchids (Diplodium trullifolium and D. Alobulum). It is also one of the richest locations for gymnosperms in the Auckland region.


This land was gifted in 1940 by Herbert Dearsly and the reserve was added to in 1966 by Emile Albert bequeathing land.

Research history

  • moss species survey by the Auckland Botanical Society
  • fungal foray
  • Kauri - nitrogen cycling, carbon storage (overall production and biomass accumulation), and litter fall
  • Invertebrates - ant, beetle and scale insect community
  • Plant species present which are culturally important to Māori

Current research

  • Mammal behaviour
  • Carrion fly fauna composition

Current teaching use

  • Sample collection for BIOSCI 320: Pure and Applied Entomology
  • Sample collection for BIOSCI 323: Plant Diversity