biodiversity

The significance of sheep and beef farms to conservation of native vegetation in New Zealand

Relying solely on public conservation lands for habitat provision will be inadequate for achieving national conservation goals. Production landscapes in New Zealand make up 60% of the land area and contain potential conservation habitat; however, the amount of native vegetation they contain is poorly known. While there have been previous assessments of native vegetation cover in New Zealand, no study has undertaken a national-scale assessment of multiple native vegetation cover types on different land uses. This absence limits the potential to manage production landscapes for conservation.

Biodiversity monitoring, ecological integrity, and the design of the New Zealand Biodiversity Assessment Framework

The New Zealand Department of Conservation is responsible for biodiversity management over approximately one-third of New Zealand’s land area and a network of marine protected areas; it also has a more general role in managing protected species and biodiversity advocacy. In 2004 the Department of Conservation began the development of a national natural heritage monitoring framework known as the New Zealand Biodiversity Assessment Framework, which has been operational since 2011.

Achieving win-win outcomes for pastoral farming and biodiversity conservation in New Zealand

Pastoral farming is the dominant land use in New Zealand today and is under considerable domestic social and political pressure to reduce its environmental footprint. In this article, we explore options to enhance native biodiversity conservation within New Zealand pastoral systems. We argue that there is strong synergistic interdependence between biodiversity conservation and pastoral farming and suggest that it is possible to have win-win outcomes for both.

The ecosystem commons

Kei te ngaro haere ngā tohu taiao o Aotearo o te ao whānui hoki, pēnei i te wai ora. Ko te mate hoki kāre e āro ana te tangata me pēhea e whakatika, mā wai, me pēhea e whakarite, ka patua tonu. I te tau rua mano tekau ma iwa ka whakaetia te Kāwanatanga me tū te awa o Whanganui hei tangata i raro anō i tōna ake mana. Ahakoa he mea rerekē tēnei ki te ao Pākeha, ehara ki tō te tikanga Māori. Ko te kaupapa o tēnei tuhituhi he pātai mena koianei te huarahi, ina ra te whakatangata i ngā tohu taiao kia rite ai ki te ture Pākeha, kia ngāwari ake te whakatikatika haere.

More than a ‘nice to have’: integrating indigenous biodiversity into agroecosystems in New Zealand

Globally, biodiversity is declining due to increasing populations and land use pressures associated with development-induced land conversion, resource use, and food production. In New Zealand, a considerable proportion of remaining indigenous biodiversity occurs on farmland in private ownership outside of the public conservation land.

Do local landscape features affect wild pollinator abundance, diversity and community composition on Canterbury farms?

Pollination is an essential ecosystem service that can be affected by habitat features in the immediate environment, termed here ‘local landscape features’. This study tested how five local landscape features (bare ground, native biodiversity plantings, homestead gardens, shelterbelts, and control areas of pasture) affect local pollinator communities on Canterbury farms. We also compared two sampling methods (flower visitation to native potted plants vs sticky traps) to determine if the sampling method affects the results of landscape-feature comparisons.

Population viability analyses in New Zealand: a review

Biodiversity assets often require conservation management, which, in turn, necessitates decisions about which ecosystem, community or species should be prioritised to receive resources. Population viability analysis (PVA) uses a suite of quantitative methods to estimate the likelihood of population decline and extinction for a given species, and can be used to assess a population's status, providing useful information to decision-makers. In New Zealand, a range of taxa have been analysed using the PVA approach, but the scope of its implementation has not previously been reviewed.

Shared visions: can community conservation projects’ outcomes inform on their likely contributions to national biodiversity goals?

In New Zealand, as in other developed nations, community-led conservation groups work to maintain and restore ecosystems and conserve indigenous biodiversity. These groups receive support in the form of materials, technical advice and funding from central and local government and non-governmental organisations, who are required increasingly to demonstrate delivery of benefits or conservation returns on investments. However, there is little empirical evidence for the objective evaluation of the effectiveness of community-based programmes in achieving national conservation outcomes.

Persistence of biodiversity in a dryland remnant within an intensified dairy farm landscape

The lowland Canterbury Plains of New Zealand have been extensively modified since human occupation, but with recent conversions to irrigated dairy farming very few remnants of native dryland vegetation remain in the region. We investigated soil chemistry, plant distribution and soil invertebrates along transects in Bankside Scientific Reserve, a small (2.6 ha) remnant. The vegetation is a mosaic of native woody shrubs, predominantly Kunzea serotina (kanuka, Myrtaceae) and Discaria toumatou (matagouri, Rhamnaceae), and dry grassland.