Cawthron habitat mapping

Image: DOC

Introduction

We are dedicated to using science to improve our wetland management. Sharing our findings will aid wetland restoration efforts throughout New Zealand.

Our vision: Science leadership for freshwater ecosystem conservation in New Zealand

To manage our wetlands, lakes, rivers and estuaries effectively, we need to understand the ecological processes that keep these areas healthy and resilient.

Currently there is incomplete information on some critical ecosystem threats, which limits our efforts to protect the health of the wetlands.

Scientific research is helping to fill this gap. Scientists and wetland managers are working together to develop useful tools for management and monitoring as well as setting goals and best practice guidelines for restoration.

Science themes

We have four overarching research themes:

Ecosystems – landscape-scale restoration

  • Improved tools for eradicating browsers and weeds in wetlands
  • Landscape-scale methods for wetland forest restoration

Water – addressing catchment pressure

  • Water levels – defining ecologically appropriate hydrological regimes for wetlands and lakes
  • Pollutants – determining the capacity of wetlands to attenuate sediment and nutrients

Species – status and recover

  • Improved tools for eradicating browsers and weeds in wetlands
  • Landscape-scale methods for wetland forest restoration

Monitoring – streamlined reporting systems

  • Application of cultural health assessment tools
  • Improved use of earth imagery in wetland monitoring

Research opportunities

Arawai Kākāriki science benefits from working with research students, universities and other research groups. Our current focus areas are:

Ecosystems – land-scape scale restoration

  • Improved tools for eradicating browsers and weeds in wetlands
  • Landscape-scale methods for wetland forest restoration

Water – addressing catchment pressures

  • Water levels – defining ecologically appropriate hydrological regimes for wetlands and lakes
  • Pollutants – determining the capacity of wetlands to attenuate sediment and nutrients

Species – status and recovery

  • Improved methods for broad-scale predator management in wetlands
  • Conserving freshwater fish in wetlands

Monitoring – streamlined reporting systems

  • Application of cultural health assessment tools
  • Improved use of earth imagery in wetland monitoring

Research partnerships

Our current partnerships are with:

  • Lakes380 research programme – GNS Science and Cawthron
  • Restoring Wetlands Programme – Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research and NIWA
  • Lakes Resilience Programme – Cawthron, NIWA, University of Waikato, University of Otago
  • Wetland Assessment and Monitoring Tool – Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research
  • Monitoring partnerships – Environment Southland, Waikato Regional Council, Environment Canterbury
  • NZ Wetland Restoration Symposium – National Wetland Trust

Science bibliography

Some of our key research:

All of our publications have been collated into the Arawai Kākāriki science bibliography.

Report cards

We publish a series of report cards each year to give communities and our partners a brief snapshot of the achievements and progress of Arawai Kākāriki.

See the Arawai Kākāriki report cards

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