The incorporation of native, woody vegetation into New Zealand’s agricultural ecosystems offers a “nature-based solution” approach for mitigating poor environmental outcomes of land use practices, biodiversity loss, and the accelerating effects of climatic change. However, to achieve this at scale requires a systematic framework for scoping, assessing, and targeting native revegetation opportunities in a way that addresses national-scale priorities, supports landscape-scale ecological processes, and recognises that land use decisions are made at farm-scales by landowners.
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.