Our unique biodiversity faces many challenges in today’s climate, such as:
- Habitat loss and fragmentation
- Pollution e.g. pesticides, fertiliser run-off
- Climate changes in temperature, rainfall, snowfall and sea level rise
- Extreme natural events e.g. fire, drought and floods
- Small population sizes and restricted distribution
- Human activity through earthworks and forestry
- Lack of knowledge about biodiversity and sustainable management
In the last 800 years in New Zealand, humans and introduces pests have caused the extinction of:
- 32% of indigenous land and freshwater bird species
- 18% of endemic sea bird species
- Three of seven frog species
- At least 12 invertebrate species (such as snails and insects)
- One fish specie
- One bat specie
- As well as possibly 3 reptile species and 11 plant species.
Climate change contributes largely to the decrease in biodiversity, with many impacts such as changes in migration, breeding and blooming in plants and animals being seen already. Biodiversity provides resilience for us as we adapt to the fluctuations bought on by climate change.
What you can do
You can help protect and restore biodiversity in Kaikōura by:
- Increasing the natural habitat by growing native plants that naturally occur in your area
- Creating habitats using features such as ponds, bird baths, hollow logs and nesting boxes
- Removing pest weeds and controlling animal pests (see section below)
- Protecting your significant natural areas through covenants for future generations
- Being a responsible cat owner and ensuring you are taking steps to help protect and enhance our precious wildlife.
Help us control pests
Plant pest species include Old man’s beard, banana passionfruit, barberry, wandering jew/willie, crack willow, grey willow, broom, gorse, boneseed, hieracium and wilding conifer.
Introduced animal and plant pests have greatly reduced numbers of native plant and animal species and therefore biodiversity in New Zealand. Without controlling their numbers our native species could become extinct.
Animal pest species include feral goats and pigs, deer, possums, stoats, weasels, ferrets, cats, rats and mice.
Sharing our coasts with Kaikōura’s seabirds
The busy summer season means more boats and jet skis are on the water, along with recreational fishers. During this time our wildlife is at greater risk of being injured or accidentally killed and particularly as it is breeding season.
However, if everyone does their bit to be a responsible vessel operator and fisherman or woman, we can help protect Kaikōura’s at risk wildlife.
Seabirds such as penguins and shags that are struck by watercraft can sustain horrific head and spinal injuries taking months to recover or causing instant death. The same can happen if you discard your fishing lines and hooks in the sea or on our beaches. Discarded fishing gear causes too many unnecessary seabird deaths, please respect our unique marine environment.
Follow these easy tips to ensure you and our wildlife stay safe
- If you are operating watercraft, always be on the lookout for seabirds on the water surface which have come up from dives, especially around the Kaikōura Peninsula and when close to shore.
- Adhere to the 5 knot speed limit within 200m of the shoreline.
- Never discard your hooks or fishing lines in the sea or on beaches, take them home with you and dispose of appropriately.
- When enjoying the Kaikōura coast leave nothing behind and take all rubbish with you.
- If you accidentally catch a seabird whilst fishing – do not cut the line and let the bird go, ensure you take the bird to your local vet clinic immediately to have hooks removed.