Source:Auckland Council, Research and Evaluation Unit , RIMU
This data is collected by RIMU as part of the Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (TBMP); which includes a network of over 300 forest plots located in a grid pattern across the Auckland region.
This indicator is presented by Ecological Neighbourhood. Species diversity and pressures from development vary widely across the region, and using regional averages might disguise important changes.
Absolute diversity is a widely used measure of the quality of habitat, with more diverse ecosystems generally being seen as ‘better’ than less diverse ones. This is because more diverse communities have been shown to have higher and more temporally stable ecosystem functioning, and consistently higher productivity, than less diverse ones (Allan et al. 2011). Forests with a higher diversity of native bird species will also benefit from increased seed pollination and dispersal for a wider range and larger amount of native plants, which subsequently improves the habitat for a wide range of organisms (e.g. invertebrates, soil biota) lower in the food chain.
The most diverse neighbourhoods are Hauturu (Little Barrier) and Aotea (Great Barrier) islands, and Hunua and Waitakere on the mainland. These four ecological neighbourhoods are dominated by extensive tracts of high-quality, old-growth indigenous forest, and many of them also have extensive pest animal management programs in place. Therefore, the relatively high naturalness of their bird populations likely reflects the less modified nature of these landscapes and the success of the pest eradication and control programs.