Significant natural areas
The first goal of the Waitaki Biodiversity Strategy1 is to identify the current state of indigenous biodiversity in the Waitaki district. To this end, the Council has established a Significant Natural Areas program to identify areas of high biodiversity value.
Many of the sites on public land with high biodiversity values were already known, however sites on private land tend to be less so. Potential sites were identified using the location and extent of indigenous vegetation from aerial images. Once identified, ecologists were engaged by the council to visit these sites and undertake ecological assessments.
The ecological assessments compare the values found at each site with a set of criteria that were set out in the Ministry for the Environment Statement of National Priorities for Protecting Rare and Threatened Native Biodiversity on Private Land (2004)2. These priorities include how distinctive an area is, how big it is, and whether rare and threatened species are present.
Landowners with a Significant Natural Area on their property will not only benefit from the improved health and productivity that a diverse landscape provides, it is likely that they will also be eligible for funding support from the Waitaki District Council, the Open Spaces Trust, and a range of other sources for the purpose of fencing and pest control.
- Waitaki District Indigenous Biodiversity Strategy(PDF, 3MB)
- Statement of National Priorities for Protecting Rare and Threatened Native Biodiversity on Private Land 2004 (PDF,283kb)