Wetland mapping and monitoring

  • Waituna Wetland, Southland. Image - Tom Fraser

    Waituna Wetland, Southland. Image - Tom Fraser

  • Waituna Wetland, Southland. Image - Tom Fraser

    Waituna Wetland, Southland. Image - Tom Fraser

An analysis of wetland loss between 2001/02 and 2015/16

The Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, and the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge co-funded research to look at contemporary losses of wetland extent in New Zealand.

This report, prepared by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, provides an initial analysis of New Zealand’s wetland loss for the period summer 2001/2 through to summer 2015/2016, and has a companion report which suggests a path forward to improve our ability to monitor and report on national wetland extent.

The underlying data (and a log of wetland polygons requiring future editing) are available on the MfE Data Service.

Report: An analysis of wetland loss between 2001/02 and 2015/16

Considering a future spatial framework for wetland mapping and monitoring in New Zealand

The Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation, and the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge co-funded research to look at contemporary losses of wetland extent in New Zealand. This report provides recommendations and a suggested path forward to improve our ability to monitor and report on national wetland extent.

Currently, New Zealand is unable to adequately report on wetland extent and change. State of environment reports seeking to compare pre-human wetland extent with contemporary extent rely on published work by Ausseil et al (2008) based on provisional data from 2003 and earlier. There is a need for an enduring solution to ongoing wetland monitoring and reporting, utilising the strengths of existing databases, and existing and planned monitoring processes.

Wetlands have not yet been comprehensively, reliably, and accurately mapped at the national level, but the elements necessary to achieve this exist in two national databases (WONI and LCDB) and in sub-national datasets maintained by some regional councils. This report examines the two national layers (WONI and LCDB v4) and regional council layers, and proposes a national spatial framework that would serve New Zealand’s monitoring and reporting needs.

Report: Considering a future spatial framework for wetland mapping and monitoring in New Zealand