Biodiversity & Conservation

"Biodiversity" is short for biological diversity. It describes the variety of plant and animal life in the world, including those on land, in fresh water and in the sea, and which has formed over billions of years of evolution. Conservation biology, more commonly known as conservation, is a multidisciplinary science that helps prevent loss of biodiversity. The human population has grown exponentially over the last 100 years, and with it our demands for natural resources. As a result of the impacts of this growth on natural habitats, species have been disappearing at 50-100 times the natural rate globally, with this rate increasing due to climate change. 

New Zealand's physical isolation from the rest of the world has allowed the plants and animals here to evolve into distinctive and unique species not found elsewhere. However, this isolation has also meant that our native species are particularly vulnerable to introduced pests, such as possums and rats. There are currently over 1000 threatened animal, plant and fungi species in New Zealand. Many species have already been lost, such as several Moa and the Haast Eagle. Here in Taranaki, our biodiversity is greatly influenced by the presence of Mount Taranaki. Our region contains a diverse range of vegetation, from semi-coastal to montane forest to tussock land. There are 28 native birds, including the blue duck and brown kiwi, and numerous native fish and invertebrates found in Egmont National Park. Our coast is also the home to the endangered Maui Dolphins. Alongside this diversity can be found a diverse range of conservation groups working to protect our natural environment. 

 The view over lake Rotokare

The view over lake Rotokare

 A Western Brown Kiwi

A Western Brown Kiwi

Take Action!

  • Check out Wild for Taranaki, a regional umbrella group made up of a wide variety of organizations and agencies working in the field of conservation. Conservation events you can get involved in are listed on their Facebook page 

  • Help save the Taranaki Kokako at Parininihi, a 2000 hectare forest stretching from Whitecliffs to Mt Messenger.  The forest is managed by Tiaki Te Mauri O Parininihi Trust on land returned to Ngāti Tama as part of their treaty settlement with the Crown. 

  • Find out about Project Maunga, a collaboration between the Department of Conservation, eight Taranaki iwi and NEXT Foundation to undertake landscape-scale ecological restoration, encompassing Taranaki, Pouakai, Kaitake and Ngā Motu/Sugar Loaf Islands. 

  • Join the Taranaki Conservationists, a community group which empowers Taranaki people to support conservation activities through a social and fun approach. 

  • Take a trip to Rotokare Scenic Reserve, a 12.5ha fully pest proof fenced reserve inland from Eltham, and get involved in a working bee. 

  • Join the Taranaki Kiwi Trust in helping protect Western Brown Kiwi in our region, and Purangi Kiwi Taranaki, who work to protect 4000 Western Brown Kiwi in Purangi, East Taranaki.  

  • Help the Ngamotu Marine Reserve Society to preserve the local coastal and marine environments 

 A Maui dolphin

A Maui dolphin

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