What does GWRC do for biodiversity?
We work throughout the Wellington region to help protect, maintain and restore the local indigenous biodiversity (native plants, animals and ecosystems). Our efforts are guided by the GWRC Biodiversity Strategy.
GWRC’s biodiversity programmes and activities aim to protect areas with high biodiversity values across the region as well as restore ecosystems in degraded areas, where possible. We work with a range of stakeholders, agencies and the public to do this. The Biodiversity department’s Operational Plan explains the department’s functions and structure, and sets out the nature and scope of its activities.
More information about our biodiversity management activities can be found here.
Many other GWRC programmes and activities contribute to biodiversity outcomes. These include the work of the Biosecurity, Land Management, Flood Protection, Parks, and Environmental Science departments and others.
Many of our native plants and animals cannot live alongside introduced pest species. Exotic animals like possums, stoats, rats and hedgehogs compete with native birds for food and prey on their nests. Exotic weeds can take over native bush and smother plants. The control of pest plants and animals is an important part of managing and protecting native biodiversity. This work is carried out by our Biosecurity department.
You can get more information about pest control here.
GWRC supports the legal protection of our special ecosystems and habitats by way of covenants.
Find more information about covenants here.
GWRC undertakes monitoring and research across the region to find out how healthy our ecosystems are, and to make sure that our programmes are working. We evaluate our biodiversity by surveying birds and their nesting success, forest regeneration and tree health, abundance of plant and animal pests and much more.
Find more information about biodiversity monitoting here.
Protecting biodiversity through policy and planning
Councils play an important role in protecting significant indigenous vegetation and animals as well as the habitats of threatened animals and plants under the Resource Management Act 1991. GWRC has policies and rules in the Regional Policy Statement and Regional Plans to protect significant indigenous biodiversity and to maintain ecosystem health. We provide specialist advice and technical support to ensure that indigenous biodiversity is considered in resource consent applications and the statutory planning documents of the district and city councils in the region.