Auckland has more than 60,000ha of native forest, 60,000ha of native scrub and shrubland, 11,290ha of saltwater wetlands (including mangroves) and 4090ha of freshwater wetlands. These ecosystems provide habitats for the majority of native plants and animals in Auckland.

The type and numbers of native plants and animals (biodiversity), and the quality of the habitat they live in, is monitored by Auckland Council at more than 600 wetland, forest and shrubland locations. Monitoring is also being developed in a suite of other ecosystems (for example, dunelands and lakeside turfs) as part of a new collective effort by local and national government agencies.

Plants, both native and introduced (including weeds), are monitored using the standard 20m by 20m vegetation plots in all ecosystems except wetlands where a 15m by 15m standard plot design is used. Birds are counted using the standard 5-minute bird count method.

Monitoring of birds is presently being expanded to more coastal ecosystems to include seabirds.

Pest animals are monitored at selected locations using ‘chew cards’.

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