Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Conservation science

New Zealanders want all types of indigenous ecosystems, habitats and species to be secure, and for the ecological processes required for the long-term persistence of the biota to be mantained in the face of threats such as invasive pests and weeds and detrimental land use. We undertake a diverse range of research that ultimately contributes to the development of practical strategies to conserve terrestrial and wetland biodiversity. We have skills in survey, monitoring, description and classification of the plant and animal communities of wetlands, drylands, tussock grasslands, shrublands, forest fragments, and critically rare and highly modified habitats and ecosystems. We undertake research and monitoring to assess conservation status, ecological history and likely future trajectories, essential ecological processes, key threats, and pest and weed impacts on diverse habitats, ecosystems, and species groups. Through our work in the fields of systematic conservation planning and biodiversity inventory and monitoring, we develop conceptual frameworks and practical tools to help agencies efficiently plan their work, and to measure progress towards conservation goals. We also identify and study species with strong effects on ecosystem performance (e.g. that maintain important mutualisms, distinctive communities, and key ecosystem processes). Some of our highest-profile research is the development of recovery strategies for birds, lizards, plants and invertebrates. In particular, our leadership in the recovery of endangered birds has been based on extensive research into the ecology of native birds and exotic pests, and the impacts of pests and pest control strategies on bird populations.


All Publications