"Thousands of hectares of New Zealand’s wetlands have been lost in the past
twenty years, leaving the country with just 10% of its pre-European wetland
areas and posing significant risks for biodiversity, according to new research.
Wetlands are considered “high value” ecosystems in New Zealand and are home to
a disproportionately large number of threatened birds and animals, including
67% of freshwater and estuarine fish, and 13% of endangered plants. They also
play important roles capturing carbon, maintaining water quality, regulating
atmospheric gases, and are culturally significant to Māori.
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research has collated and revised data from across
two databases: their own New Zealand Land Cover Database and Fresh Water
Environment of New Zealand’s Wetlands of National Importance Database, to
better map the degradation of freshwater wetlands.
Both databases use different mapping technologies, which on their own are
considered insufficient to comprehensively track wetland areas, the paper’s
principal author John R Dymond said.
The revised data shows an “alarming” 6,000 hectares of freshwater wetlands have
vanished in the past two decades, Dymond said. That might not sound like much
but it represents a disturbing trend, he said."
Via Frederick Wilson II.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics