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Estuarine vegetation survey – Colville Bay Estuary

On this page: abstract, table of contents

Report: TR 2013/06

Author: M Graeme (Natural Solutions – Marine and Terrestrial Ecologists Ltd) 


A 1997 pilot study of Whangamata, Wharekawa, and Otahu estuaries determined that it is feasible to map vascular estuarine vegetation from aerial photography together with field surveys. The success of this work encouraged Waikato Regional Council to continue with this method.

The estuarine vegetation of Tairua, Coromandel, Te Kouma, Manaia, Whitianga, Port Waikato, Raglan, Aotea, Kawhia and Whangapoua harbours; and the inner Firth of Thames, Purangi and Otama estuaries and Kennedy Bay have since been surveyed and mapped. Of these, Whangamata, Wharekawa, Otahu, Tairua, Coromandel, Te Kouma, Manaia, Whitianga, Port Waikato, Raglan, Aotea and Kawhia have been re-surveyed to determine changes in vegetation communities over time.

The vegetation that has been mapped is within the coastal marine area and includes the spatial cover of mangrove, seagrass, sea meadow, saltmarsh and estuarine weed communities. The results of the estuarine vegetation surveys are included in Waikato Regional Council’s Global Information System (GIS) database, and are used for State of the Environment investigations and assessing resource consent applications that may affect estuarine vegetation.

This report details the results from the survey of estuarine vegetation in Colville Bay, including Otautu and Whangaahei Bays.

Comments are included about the estuarine vegetation present, the threats to native estuarine vegetation communities, and other field notes of interest.

Estuarine vegetation survey – Colville Bay Estuary (3mb)

Table of contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Methodology 2
2.1 Wetland vegetation classification 2
3 Results 5
3.1 Site descriptions 5
3.2 Birds 25
3.3 Threats 25
4 Discussion and recommendations 27
5 Bibliography 29
6 Appendix A - Photo waypoints 31