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Programme overview

Regional councils are required to monitor and report on the state of the environment. This report summarises the results of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) program to monitor the health of terrestrial biodiversity in the Wellington region. The programme incorporates annual monitoring to measure the state and trend of terrestrial ecological integrity at sites sampled on an 8km x 8km grid over a five-year cycle starting in the summer of 2014/15.

Key monitoring objectives are to determine:

  1. the state and trend of vegetation and bird community richness, structure and composition,
  2. the pressure of plant and animal pests based on their regional distribution and local abundance, and
  3. the effectiveness of pest management based on the abundance (richness, basal area and density) of indigenous plants susceptible to introduced herbivores and the abundance of indigenous bird guilds (frugivores, insectivores and ground dwelling) that are susceptible to introduced herbivores and carnivores.

Monitoring network

The monitoring network is based on a national 8km x 8km sampling grid of points, 126 of which fall in the Wellington region shown on the map below. The national sampling grid was established to inform the Land Use and Carbon Accounting System (LUCAS) maintained by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) as part of New Zealand’s Kyoto Protocol reporting. The grid is also used by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as the basis of a systematic programme of sampling native species and pests across all Public Conservation Land (PCL). GWRC surveys the remainder of the points not covered by MfE or DOC (access permitting), incorporating the data from all surveyed points to report on the state and trend of terrestrial ecological integrity across the Wellington region.

Usage guide. Drag, scroll, and use the top right +/- buttons on the map to move and zoom to areas of interest. Hover over circles to see more information for each plot. Toggle between layers in the top right "Map layers" box to see different plot information and click on the checkboxes to show/hide high-level landcover classifications ("LUCAS landcover") and aerial imagery ("LINZ 2016/17 aerial photos") baselayers.