Regional Biodiversity Information Gathered
The Southern North Island Forest Gecko is an ‘at risk’ species included in the recently published Hawke’s Bay’s
Southern NI Forest Gecko Southern North Island Forest Gecko at risk
While the gecko is doing well in the protected surrounds of Lake Opouahi north of Napier, the inventory details other
creatures and plants in Hawke’s Bay that need help.
The Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Inventory was presented to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Environment and Services
Committee this week (Wednesday 13 August). http://data.hbrc.govt.nz/meetings/Open/2014/ESC_13082014_AGN_AT.PDF
The inventory is a new document that summarises existing information on biodiversity to provide an understanding of
habitats and populations of birds, insects, lizards and fish. It will guide the development of the Hawke’s Bay
Biodiversity Strategy, which will set priorities for action in the region.
Regional Councillor Peter Beaven chaired the committee meeting and said “This stocktake of biodiversity in our region is
a result of input from a diverse range of organisations. The effort to secure habitat to restore and maintain
biodiversity will involve both public and private land, so full community involvement is critical to our task.”
The development of the biodiversity inventory has been a collaborative effort involving Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,
Animal Health Board, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Dairy NZ, Department of Conservation, Farm Forestry
Committee, Federated Farmers, Fish & Game New Zealand, Forest & Bird, Hastings District Council, Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group, Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association, Mana Ahuriri Iwi
Inc., Maori Trustee, Ministry for Primary Industries, Napier City Council, Ngā Whenua Rāhui, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi
Incorporated, QE II National Trust, and Te Taio Hawke’s Bay Environment Forum.
Published information and expert opinion has been used to compile the inventory of vulnerable species and land,
freshwater, coastal & marine, and rare habitats in Hawke’s Bay. The Appendices include lists of threatened birds and habitats plus a map of
recommended areas for protection.
The inventory is a ‘living document’ which will be added to as new information is gathered.
Habitat loss is severe in Hawke’s Bay from the foothills to the main ranges where most of this land is in private
ownership. Threatened habitat types include lowland podocarp forests, lowland streams and rivers, freshwater wetlands,
and sand dunes.
Several species have already been lost to the region. Others, like Hawke’s Bay’s kakabeak plants, are still endangered,
although the efforts of many people and organisations are helping numbers to recover.
Experts have completed the detailed habitat mapping for threatened birds in the inventory, but this was the only subject
where there was sufficient knowledge to do so.
The inventory also identifies gaps in the knowledge of all the organisations. For example, scant information exists on
smaller organisms such as moss, lichens and insects, and there are knowledge gaps for lizards because their sparse
populations make them difficult to study.
The criteria and process for setting priorities for biodiversity enhancement efforts will now be developed as part of
the biodiversity strategy. The prioritisation will take in a range of factors, such as data from ecological surveys and
the willingness of the community to assist, as they have for a number of significant projects in action around Hawke’s