Biodiversity Restoration Corridor Prioritisation

Biodiversity corridors can provide a link between fragmented natural ecosystems ‘from the mountains to the sea’.  

Environment Waikato commissioned this project to assist with the identification of potential biodiversity corridors that are a priority for restoration; using the Thames-Coromandel District as the pilot area for the region. 

Some work had already been initiated by Environment Waikato using a geo-spatial model to help prioritise biodiversity corridors based on the Threatened Environments  and SNA datasets surrounding rivers.   This draft model was reviewed, and the Criteria were refined into a geo-spatial dataset to determine priority river corridors for restoration based on their biodiversity value.  A summary of the management criteria that are considered important for further prioritisation was also provided. 

The biodiversity corridor dataset will also be a useful tool in helping Environment Waikato prioritise their management assistance towards Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) within districts.

Biodiversity corridors provide a link across fragmented natural landscapes dominated by developed land. Restoration of native vegetation along biodiversity corridors will contribute to the linking of ecosystems and help increase the area of under-represented ecosystems.

The purpose of this project is to provide a method to prioritise corridor restoration based on biodiversity values.   The Thames-Coromandel District is used as the pilot study.  The topography and fragmentation of natural values will differ in other districts, especially where forested headwaters may not be common.