15. Indigenous Biodiversity

Taikirau Swamp, Motatau.


RPS Objectives

· Maintenance of the biodiversity of the Northland region.

· Protection of the life supporting capacity of ecosystems through avoiding, remedying or mitigating (in that order of priority) the adverse effects of activities, substances and introduced species on the functioning of natural ecosystems.

· Protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and the significant habitats of indigenous fauna.


· Pest animals and pest plants threaten a number of indigenous species and ecosystems.

· Land development through subdivision and intensification of agricultural land use threatens habitats.

· Potentially climate change will further threaten indigenous species and also allow some new pest species to establish as well as allowing some existing pest or native species to expand their range.


· Less than 5% of Northland's wetlands remain as a result of drainage and disturbance. Some wetland types are now close to being lost forever. Remaining wetlands are under pressure from drainage, invasion by pest plants, fertiliser run-off and animal wastes, water abstractions, clearance of riparian and catchment vegetation, pine planting and logging, weir and dam construction, reclamation for urban development, grazing and trampling of littoral vegetation by stock.

· Overall the biodiversity of indigenous vegetation is declining with a decrease in the land area covered in indigenous vegetation from 1997 to 2002 and indigenous plant species becoming nationally or regionally threatened with some species already extinct in Northland. Many once common habitat types, such as riverine floodplain forest and dunefields, are now critically threatened due to land development pressures. However a significant proportion of this remaining indigenous vegetation is legally protected.

· Many "nationally critical" threatened species (those most under threat of extinction) are found in Northland, including 28 plants, 36 terrestrial animals and five freshwater or marine animal species.

· Kiwi populations are currently being managed at about 30 sites across Northland, covering approximately 53,000 ha. This predominately involves pest control and public education. Due to these efforts, the kiwi population in Northland in these managed areas is increasing. Since 1999, kiwi call rates have stabilised, with an increase in call rates at one of the four areas monitored.

Doing well

· There is excellent co-operation between agencies in Northland, particularly through the Northland Biodiversity Enhancement Group.

· Good community support for the NRC Environment Fund, with $1.5 million allocated to various biodiversity protection and enhancement projects since the fund was established in 1996.

· Of the 416,900 ha of indigenous vegetation land cover in Northland in 2002, approximately 36% of it was legally protected in 2006.

· There are over 50 active environmental land care groups in the region.

· There is a large number of landowners carrying out active biosecurity management and biodiversity enhancement on their properties throughout Northland.

Areas for improvement

· Better identification of biodiversity in Northland including more data collection and storage of baseline information.

· Proactive approach to protecting priority areas as well as consolidating and connecting fragmented areas already protected.

The Northland region contains a wide diversity of habitat types and ecosystems and an unusually high number of indigenous species, a number of which are found only in Northland....
Habitat loss Habitat loss in Northland over the last 160 years of European settlement includes over 95% of both forests and wetlands. Wetlands and coastal habitats are already...
15.3 What is the state of biodiversity?
Policy documents Regional Policy Statement The Northland Regional Council has undertaken a five year review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Regional Policy Statement...
The following are key points towards implementing improved future management of the indigenous biodiversity in Northland: · Continuation of the coordinated efforts of N-Beg is...
There are several things you can do to protect and enhance biodiversity in Northland. At home: · Be a responsible pet owner. Domestic dogs and cats can be major predators of a...
Initiatives to protect North Island kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) in Northland are a good example of how various government and non-government agencies, community groups and individuals...
Puketi Forest, including Omahuta Forest, forms one of the most outstanding and largest tracts of native forest in Northland. A total of 21,000 ha are managed by the Department of...
Dowding, J.E. (1997). Census results. Unpublished report to New Zealand Dotterel Recovery Group meeting, May 1997. Department of Conservation, Wellington Dowding, J.E. (2001):...
Table 5: Freshwater fish recorded in Northland on the NZ Freshwater Fish Database Scientific name Common name No. of records Native fish     Aldrichetta forsteri Yelloweyed...