Overview of Biodiversity in Kaikoura
Biodiversity is the variety among and within plant and animal species in an environment.
New Zealand’s Biodiversity is unique and a large number of our species can be found nowhere else in the World.
Our native species and ecosystems are part of our identity, many of our native species have become national icons, such as the Kiwi and silver fern, and we must protect these species and the habitats they live in for present and future generations.
In Kaikoura, there is a wide range of important native species and ecosystems. Kaikoura is well-known for its NZ fur seals, whales and dolphins. It is also home to twelve native lizard species including the unusual black-eyed gecko and almost a quarter of the native plant species in the country. The last two surviving colonies of Hutton’s Shearwater breed here along with 30 other indigenous bird species.
Much of our native biodiversity is unique and vulnerable, therefore the responsibility for its continued existence is entirely ours, and it can’t be conserved in nature anywhere else in the world.
Significant Natural Areas
Under Section 6(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991, the Council has a responsibility to recognise and provide for the protection of areas of “significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna” as a matter of national importance.
The Kaikoura District has numerous public reserves and conservation areas including the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, which is the largest area of protected land. The council completed a study to identify all of the significant natural areas on private land in the district, so far 155 sites have been identified.
If you are considering protecting a significant natural area on your land, contact Alex McCormack at the Kaikoura District Council on (03) 319 5026 extension 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Threats to Biodiversity
- 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
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.
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.
To find out more information http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/Pages/regional-pest-management-strategy.aspx
Before Weed Control After Weed Control
You can help protect and restore biodiversity in Kaikoura 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
- protecting your significant natural areas through covenants for future generations
The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust http://www.huttonsshearwater.org.nz/
Post: PO Box 58, Kaikoura 7340, New Zealand
Phone: 022 FLY HOME (022 359 4663) or 021 029 26773
Forest & Bird, Kaikoura Branch http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/branches/kaikoura
Contact: Barry Dunnett
Address: Pooles Rd; RD 1; Kaikoura 7371
Phone: (03) 319 5086
Department of Conservation, Kaikoura http://doc.govt.nz/footer-links/contact-us/office-by-name/?mode=details&office=1008
Address: Ludstone Rd, Kaikoura
Phone: +64 3 319 5641
Fax: +64 3 319 6819
Biodiversity Publications and Links
Link to the rural section and vegetation clearance rules of the District Plan
New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy https://www.biodiversity.govt.nz/picture/doing/nzbs/contents.html
Canterbury Biodiversity http://www.ecan.govt.nz/advice/biodiversity/pages/default.aspx
Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/Pages/biodiversity-strategy.aspx