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Integrated biodiversity ranking and prioritisation for the Waikato region

Report: TR 2016/12

Author: John Leathwick

About this report

This report describes the methodology and findings of an integrated biodiversity ranking and prioritisation process completed for the Waikato region. The document describes an updated set of rankings for natural ecosystems of the Waikato region which supersedes an interim set of rankings of terrestrial indigenous ecosystems produced by Hill et al. (2015). While the revised rankings are broadly similar to the earlier set, they differ in several important respects. The input data was expanded to include lake and river ecosystems, as well as updated and more detailed descriptions of terrestrial ecosystems. To encompass the broader scope of different ecosystem types, significant changes were made in the ranking process to allow for ecological connectivity both across the landscape for terrestrial ecosystems and lakes, and longitudinally along river and stream networks. The updated rankings are intended to provide a high-level view of indigenous biodiversity priorities within the Waikato region, with an emphasis on identifying sites at a broad scale that will meet council goals of protecting a representative range of indigenous ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic.

The rankings will support decision making by council staff around the allocation of funding for biodiversity management, and in particular the maintenance of a full range of indigenous dominated ecosystems in good condition. This work is aligned to a broader regional council objective of providing preliminary decision support to catchment managers on priority locations within management zones for implementation of soil conservation, water quality and biodiversity initiatives. 

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Integrated biodiversity ranking and prioritisation for the Waikato region (5MB)

Contents

Project goals
Analysis scope and approach
The ranking process
Results
Discussion
References
Appendix I - Terrestrial ecosystems
Appendix II - Maps of terrestrial priority sites