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  Services » Publications » Technical reports - by year » tr201316

Significant natural areas of the Waipa district: terrestrial and wetland ecosystems

On this page: abstract, table of contents

Report: TR 2013/16

Author: Kessels & Associates Ltd

Abstract

Waikato Regional Council is undertaking a project to prioritise areas of the Waikato region for biodiversity management. In order to do so, existing habitats of indigenous flora and fauna (i.e. natural areas) need to be identified, their features described and their ecological significance assessed.

The identification and assessment of natural areas will assist both Waikato Regional Council and Waipa District Council to make decisions regarding policy development and the prioritisation of funding and resources for ecological restoration, as well as being an important information resource for the assessment of resource consents.

Separate significant natural area (SNA) assessments have been conducted for riverine, lacustrine, geothermal, and karst ecosystems. This assessment forms the component of the terrestrial and wetland SNA that fall within the Waipa territorial authority area.

As part of this project, Kessels & Associates, in conjunction with Red Admiral Ecology, have been commissioned to undertake a largely “desktop” exercise to identify, describeand assess the ecological significance of remaining natural areas of terrestrial and wetland habitats of indigenous flora and fauna in the Waipa district.

This report provides a summary of the methods and results of the “desktop” exercise, which was comprised primarily of a literature review, analysis of recent aerial photography and other data, and use of existing in-house knowledge of the Waipa district. The data resulting from this project is held and maintained in an SNA database at Waikato Regional Council.

It is important to recognise that the inventory produced for this study is an indicative and provisional data set of SNA in the Waipa district as at 2007 (based on the year of capture of the aerial photography used as the primary source for determining site boundaries), and it is expected to be updated periodically as new information becomes available. In particular, community consultation and data obtained from field surveys will provide valuable information which could be used to validate the data.

Only predominantly indigenous terrestrial and freshwater wetland natural areas were assessed as part of this inventory. Lake, stream and riverine ecosystems were not specifically included in this assessment, although there were some overlaps with terrestrial and wetland ecosystems. Some comment on these other ecosystems has been made where it was considered appropriate.

Significant natural areas of the Waipa district: terrestrial and wetland ecosystems (6mb)

Table of contents

 

  Executive summary 1
1 Introduction 5
2 Objectives 5
3 Methodology 6
3.1 General approach 6
3.2 Stage one - Literature review 6
3.3 Stage two - Delineating site extent (spatial data) and data set formation 6
3.3.1 Base spatial data 6
3.3.2 Design scale 7
3.3.3 Minimum mapping unit (MMU) 7
3.3.4 Grouping or merging polygons (except for Maungatautari Ecological Island) 7
3.3.5 Grouping or merging polygons (Maungatautari Ecological Island only) 7
3.4 Stage 3 - Ecological significance assessment (attribute data) 7
3.4.1 Descriptive attributes 8
3.4.2 Significance assessments 8
3.5 Stage 4 - Quality control 11
3.6 Data set accuracy 11
3.6.1 Positional accuracy 11
3.6.2 Attribute accuracy 12
3.6.3 Field surveys and 'slither' errors 12
4 Ecological character of the Waipa district 13
4.1 General overview 13
4.2 Raglan ecological district 14
4.2.1 Overview 14
4.2.2 Bioclimatic zones 14
4.2.3 Geology and soils 14
4.2.4 Vegetation 15
4.2.5 Flora 15
4.2.6 Fauna 15
4.2.7 Protected natural areas 15
 4.2.8 Key significant natural areas 15
 4.3 Hamilton ecological district 16
 4.3.1 Overview 16
 4.3.2 Bioclimatic zones 16
 4.3.3 Geology and soils 16
 4.3.4 Vegetation 16
4.3.5 Flora 17
4.3.6 Fauna 17
4.3.7 Protected natural areas 17
4.3.8 Key significant natural areas 17
4.4 Maungatautari ecological district 18
4.4.1 Overview 18
4.4.2 Bioclimatic zones 18
4.4.3 Geology and soils 18
4.4.4 Vegetation 18
4.4.5 Flora 18
4.4.6 Fauna 18
4.4.7 Protected natural areas 19
4.4.8 Key significant natural areas 19
4.5 Kawhia ecological district 19
4.5.1 Overview 19
4.5.2 Bioclimatic zones 19
4.5.3 Geology and soils 19
4.5.4 Vegetation 20
4.5.5 Flora 20
4.5.6 Fauna 20
4.5.7 Protected natural areas 20
4.5.8 Key significant natural areas 21
4.6 Waipa ecological district 21
4.6.1 Overview 21
4.6.2 Bioclimatic zones 21
4.6.3 Geology and soils 21
4.6.4 Vegetation 21
4.6.5 Flora 21
4.6.6 Fauna 21
4.6.7 Protected natural areas 21
4.6.8 Key significant natural areas 21
4.7 Ranginui ecological district 22
4.7.1 Overview 22
4.7.2 Bioclimatic zones 22
4.7.3 Geology and soils 22
4.7.4 Vegetation 22
4.7.5 Flora 22
4.7.6 Fauna 22
4.7.7 Protected natural areas 22
4.7.8 Key significant natural areas 22
4.8 Tokora ecological district 23
4.8.1 Overview 23
4.8.2 Bioclimatic zones 23
4.8.3 Geology and soils 23
4.8.4 Vegetation 23
4.8.5 Flora 23
4.8.6 Fauna 23
4.8.7 Protected natural areas 23
4.8.8 Key significant natural areas 23
5 Threatened environments and threatened species of the Waipa district 25
5.1 Extent of nationally threatened environments within Waipa district 25
5.2 Threatened species 26
5.2.1 Threatened flora species 27
5.2.2 Threatened fauna species 27
5.2.3 Regionally uncommon or threatened species 29
6 Results of the significant natural areas inventory and assessment 30
6.1 Significant natural areas inventory 30
6.2 Vegetation composition analysis 35
6.3 Limitations of the assessment 35
7 Conclusions and recommendations 37
7.1 Conclusions 37
7.2 Recommendations 38
7.2.1 Key issues 38
7.2.2 Ecological restoration priorities for the Waipa district 39
  Acknowledgements 43
  Glossary 43
  References and selected bibliography 46
  Appendix I - Key natural areas data and literature for the Waipa district 49
  Appendix II - Criteria for the assessment of signficance of natural areas 51
  Appendix III - Types of legal protection in the Waipa district 75
  Appendix IV - Confidence levels for significan natural area assessments 76
  Appendix V - Metadata for the "Significant natural areas - Waipa district" data set 77
  Appendix VI - Photos 101
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