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Biodiversity

Did you know?

  • New Zealand’s native biodiversity is unique. We have a high percentage of endemic species (those found nowhere else in the world).
  • With an estimated 80,000 species of native animals, plants, and fungi, New Zealand makes an important contribution to global biodiversity.
  • About 44 per cent of New Zealand’s land area is covered by native vegetation, most of which is in hill country and alpine areas. Between 1997 and 2002, an estimated 16,500 hectares of native land cover have been either converted to other uses or changed as a result of natural processes.
  • Internationally, a high proportion (32 per cent) of New Zealand is protected for conservation purposes. Both the area of conservation land and the area under pest management have increased over the last decade.
  • Seven monitored native species (the lesser short-tailed bat, kiwi, kākā, kōkako, mōhua, wrybill, and dactylanthus) have all decreased in range since the 1970s, probably due to pest activity rather than habitat loss.

For more information about biodiversity see Environment New Zealand 2007 at www.mfe.govt.nz

What can you do?

  • Attract native birds to your community – visit www.doc.govt.nz for tips on what trees and shrubs to plant in your garden to attract native birds and other native species.
  • Pest and weed problems? Visit www.landcare.org.nz to help identify and control unwanted pests on your land and help protect our precious native biodiversity.
  • Many native birds are killed each year by cats and dogs. Help protect native wildlife by putting a bell on your cat's collar and walking your dog on a leash.
  • Rubbish can be harmful to wildlife – leave only your footprints behind.
  • Boat owner? Before entering a new lake or river, remove all weeds, flush out jet units, and wash your boat down to avoid introducing new aquatic pests into the waterway. Visit www.biosecurity.govt.nz for more information on stopping the spread of pest species.