Recently developed national spatial databases enable improved estimates of how much of the full range of New Zealand’s terrestrial biodiversity pattern remains, its rates of change, and how much is legally protected. Analysis using a classification of land environments derived from soil and climate data layers (LENZ) as a surrogate for biodiversity pattern, and spatial databases of land cover and legal protection, shows extreme (>70%) loss of indigenous cover in 57% of land environments, and poor protection (
We used recent satellite imagery to quantify the extent, type, and rate of conversion of remaining indigenous grasslands in the inland eastern South Island of New Zealand in recent years. We describe the pattern of conversion in relation to national classifications of land use capability and land environments, and ecological and administrative districts and regions. We show that although large areas of indigenous grasslands remain, grassland loss has been ongoing. Indigenous grassland was reduced in the study area by 3% (70 200 ha) between 1990 and 2008.