Get a list of projects funded by the TFBIS programme 2003-2013.

2013 TFBIS funding

The Deputy Director General responsible for the TFBIS Programme made the following decisions on the applications received in the last funding round. 13 projects with a total expenditure of up to $1,167,554 over the next three years were approved. See below for summaries of the approved projects.

Incorporation of the NZVH into the Australian Virtual Herbarium

Agency: New Zealand Virtual Herbarium Network
Amount allocated: $77,000

Project description: The New Zealand Virtual Herbarium (NZVH) is an on-line botanical information resource that provides access to a wealth of data associated with the scientific collections of plant and fungi specimens kept by 11 of New Zealand's herbaria. This project will incorporate the New Zealand Virtual Herbarium (NZVH) into the Australian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) and create a combined ‘Australasian’ portal (ANZVH) using the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) infrastructure. These improvements will support national biodiversity monitoring and reporting, leveraging the existing multi-million dollar investment in ALA.

New NZOR website for better access to data

Agency: Landcare Research
Amount allocated: $79,000

Project description: The New Zealand Organisms Register (NZOR) is a project to address the fact that there is currently no single, definitive registry of the over 100,000 organism names relevant to New Zealand. NZOR is the infrastructure that delivers the national digital species catalogue. At present the uptake of NZOR is limited by the lack of a user-friendly website interface. This project will develop a website based user interface to provide better access to the NZOR data, with accompanying tools and support documentation for the less technically resourced end-user community.

Digitising the diversity of New Zealand's freshwater

Agency: University Waikato
Amount allocated: $79,000

Project description: This project will complete the DNA barcode library for the roughly 100 species of New Zealand caddisfly still outstanding. These data can then be used by anyone in New Zealand with an interest in routine identification of freshwater invertebrates.

Freshwater invertebrate identification tools for community monitoring

Agency: NIWA
Amount allocated: $77,120

Project description: The Stream Health Monitoring and Assessment Kit (SHMAK) was developed over ten years ago to enable non-scientists to collect consistent, scientifically valid information about waterways. This project wiil make improvements in technologies, ecology and science communication to revitalise the invertebrate identification guides that are a key component of the SHMAK and critical to the biodiversity of our freshwaters. This tool is used by iwi and community groups in monitoring the health of waterways within their rohe/area.

NZ Threat classification information web interface

Agency: DOC
Amount allocated: $79,984

Project description: DOC manages the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) on behalf of the biodiversity sector. In its current form the NZTCS consists of 23 spreadsheets containing species’ threat classification information which are updated as each species is reviewed. This project will develop a database and user interface to improve the collection and analysis of data and make threat classification decisions more easily accessible to a wider audience.

Development of a literature/reference database to store and maintain coastal dune ecosystems information.

Agency: Dune Restoration Trust
Amount allocated: $103,950

Project description: Coastal dune ecosystems are amongst the most modified and degraded of all the major ecosystems in New Zealand. Currently there is no coastal dune ecosystem literature database or comprehensive electronic bibliography available in New Zealand. This project will develop a comprehensive coastal literature database for the public to use. This project is provisionally approved on the condition that a review is carried out, in consultation with the DOC ISS team, on suitable technology including website hosting of this resource prior to development.

Diatom type databasing and imaging, Allan Herbarium and NIWA

Agency: Landcare Research
Amount allocated: $30,000

Project description: Diatoms are used as indicators of water quality. More than half of the type specimens of non-marine New Zealand diatoms are stored overseas. Access to these is crucial for the correct application of names, which is an essential basis for their use as indicators. This project will obtain type specimens of indigenous, non-marine species that were first described from New Zealand material. Light and electron micrographs of these will be made available online.

New Zealand Birds Online - collation and publishing of extracts from HANZAB

Agency: Te Papa
Amount allocated: $14,000

Project description:New Zealand Birds Online is a TFBIS-funded, not-for-profit, publically available, free, web-based encyclopaedia of New Zealand birds that will was launched on 2 June 2013. HANZAB is the authoritative text on birds of the region, but its limited print run and high cost make it inaccessible to most people.  This project will collate the 3947 pages from HANZAB into 375 single-species extracts, and to load them on to the NZ Birds Online website.

QUAVONZ: Quaternary Vegetation of New Zealand

Agency: Landcare Research
Amount allocated: $75,000

Project description: Palaeovegetation records (< 50 000 years ago) provide a critical baseline for interpreting and managing New Zealand’s current biodiversity. This project will develop a prototype for a databank and associated online interface that would allow contributors to upload and manage palaeovegetation datasets and ensure data security. This will better inform biodiversity managers in their planning for restoration work.

Interactive weeds key - common species and pest plant

Agency: Landcare Research
Amount allocated: $122,500

Project description: This project will add 136 weeds, including all Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) species, to an interactive identification key currently limited to the National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA) and the DOC Consolidated List of Environmental Weeds in New Zealand.

Plant identification using Lucid Mobile: the new smartphone app

Agency: Landcare Research
Amount allocated: $70,000

Project description: Mobile applications (‘apps’) have huge potential for improving biodiversity data access and providing cutting-edge solutions for identifying plants in the field. This project will create a fully portable smartphone/tablet versions of Landcare Research’s five major interactive plant keys (flowering plant genera, grasses, weeds, native orchids and Coprosma) using the brand new Lucid Mobile app. These app-based keys will be freely available to download. This project is the first TFBIS project using mobile phone technology and will be a pilot for the TFBIS programme. 

A national network for connecting and mobilising primary biodiversity data

Agency: NIWA
Amount allocated: $340,000

Project description: This project has the goal to develop national solutions for mobilising access to primary biodiversity data through a federated data network. This work supports local, regional, and national conservation management and national monitoring and reporting. As a large, ambitious, sector-wide project, the first year has been approved, however funding in years 2 and 3 will be dependent on the assessment at the end of the first year of project progress and likelihood of success.

Data visualisation and management tools for hapu and iwi

Agency: NIWA
Amount allocated: $20,000

Project description: This scoping study recognises the need for purpose-built data visualisation and management systems with the ability to combine and present real-time open data sources in a format that is easy to understand and use by Māori. Iwi/hapū groups require data management infrastructure where data feeds in - as well as having the capacity to present datasets which may not be readily available to the public, i.e., wāhi tapu. This project will evaluate the current and forecasted requirements of Māori end-users to design information system(s) that enable and support kaitiaki to monitor the success of biodiversity restoration activities implemented in degraded ecosystems.

Previously funded projects

Projects funded by the TFBIS Programme are summarised in the following documents, including their titles, organisation, outputs and the year completed. You can sort the Excel document by each of these fields.

Examples of project outputs funded by TFBIS



Website link


Electronic encyclopaedia and annotated bibliography of Lizards

New Zealand Lizards database: Landcare Research


Council Biodata Managers Community of Practice - Dataversity



Predicted national-scale distributions of indigenous freshwater invertebrates

Biodiversity website (large PDF file, 7150K)


Digitise the NZ Botanical soc newsletter

Botanical society journals: New Zealand Plant Conservation Network


Factsheet information infrastructure - a platform for the dynamic delivery of topic and taxon profiles

This project developed an infrastructure programme to enable factsheets to be developed. The following site is an example of the product in use:
Insect factsheet: Landcare Research


Enhanced spatial interface and datapoint dynamics for NZBRN

New Zealand Biodiversity Recording Network


The whole of Northland project - phase 3

Biodiversity Northland


Improvement and integration of the bird banding recovery database in BIOWEB

Bird banding: DOC website


Image database of weevil genera

Weevils: Landcare Research


Interactive key to NZ Coprosma species

Coprosma key: Landcare Research


PDF maker for species factsheets

New Zealand's Flora: New Zealand Plant Conservation Network

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