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Image for the Biodiversity page.
This page contains information about biodiversity in the Whangarei district.
Updated: 19/10/2018 10:29 a.m.
Photograph of a kukupa (native pigeon).
​Kukupa - New Zealand native pigeon

​Biodiversity is the full range of life on earth, including plants, animals, fungi, micro-organisms and also the environment in which they live. 

It's importance is in supporting the critical ecosystem processes that maintain and regulate everything from the atmosphere and climate through to disposal of wastes.

New Zealand is a biodiversity "hotspot". Many of our native species are endemic and do not occur naturally anywhere else on earth.

Development such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, aquaculture, and tourism all depend on sustainably managed natural resources and all rely on biodiversity.

Our district's natural environment

The natural environment plays an important role in defining the character of the Whangarei district and contributes to our unique sense of place. It contains many varied landscapes with a wide range of habitats.

About 9% of the district is formally protected either as public conservation land, Council reserves, QEII covenants, Nga Whenua Rahui kawenata or as Fish and Game wetlands.

Māori are kaitiaki for the biodiversity of tribal areas and holders of traditional tribal knowledge. They are also developing their own iwi management plans to address natural resource issues within their rohe, including biodiversity.

Threats to biodiversity

The well-being of our natural environment, nationally and regionally, is under pressure from a range of threats including:

  • habitat loss and fragmentation through deforestation, drainage and reclamation
  • introduced predators such as mustelids, rats and feral cats
  • invasive plant and animal pests including aquatic species
  • over-exploitation from commercial fishing, illegal and unsustainable harvesting
  • pollution through sewage, inappropriate use of pesticides and sedimentation
  • climate changes in temperature, rainfall and sea level rise
  • spread of diseases such as chytridiomycosis in frogs and the Kauri dieback disease
  • natural catastrophic disturbance eg fire, drought and floods
  • small population sizes and restricted distribution
  • human activity through subdivisions and urban expansion, land use change and genetic modification
  • lack of general knowedge about sustainable management.

Of the total number of species found in the Whangarei district, there are 205 at risk or threatened - 125 are animals and 80 are plants. 

Some habitats, such as wetlands, dune lands and lowland/coastal forests are acutely threatened and in need of protection and/or restoration. Less than 4% of Whangarei's original wetland remain.

We contribute to the QEII National Trust to set up new open space covenents in the district and also work with other agencies and community groups to enhance biodiversity on public reserves.

More detailed information is included in our Biodiversity Strategy - completed in 2012. To view the document, follow the link below.

Biodiversity Strategy 2012 [1.3mb]

 Get involved! 

You can help to protect and restore the biodiversity in our district by:

  • increasing the natural habitat by growing native plants that naturally occur in your area
  • growing plants from seed gathered from local remnants
  • creating habitats using features such as bird baths, hollow logs, ponds, rocks, and nesting boxes
  • removing environmental weeds and controlling pests
  • composting to recycle organic matter like kitchen scraps and lawn clippings
  • keeping stock out of water courses to improve water quality in our streams and harbour
  • being a responsible pet owner by keeping pets inside or contained at night
  • walking your dog on a lead, particularly in kiwi areas
  • joining or supporting a local landcare, coast care or weedbuster group
  • legally protecting your special places for future generations.

Formally protected areas map

The below map displays the formally protected areas for Kiwi and Pateke within the Whangarei district.

Formally Protected Areas with Kiwi and Pateke Distribution map. Click to download PDF version.

You can open a PDF version of the map, by clicking on the above image or selecting the link below. If your browser supports opening PDFs, then you will be able to turn on and off different layers of the map.

Otherwise, you can open the PDF, save it to your computer and open the file with a PDF reader application to view the layers.

Formally Protected Areas with Kiwi and Pateke Distribution [1.4mb]


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