Biodiversity describes the variety of life on earth. Northland has a subtropical, oceanic climate and a wide variety of habitat types which ensure the region has an unusually high diversity of plants and animals. This includes many species that can be found nowhere else in New Zealand or the world, i.e. ‘endemic' species.
As one of the key environmental agencies in the region, the Northland Regional Council provides advice on biodiversity. The council also provides funding – through the Environment Fund – for landowners who want to undertake long-term land management and biodiversity projects.
Tree weta on Coprosma pedicellata, a newly discovered threatened tree in Northland. (Image: A. Townsend, DOC).
The ‘Environment Fund' was set up 15 years ago and has provided more than $3 million to help people improve and protect Northland's natural environment.
Typically, projects have included fencing, tree-planting and pest control. In 2009-2010 the Environment Fund was revised to align with regional land management priorities to make it more efficient, targeting resources towards improved land management outcomes.