In the “Exploring nature with children booklet

Te whare o te oranga!


Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. This means the number and variety of all biological life - plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. Biodiversity (short for biological diversity) determines the ability of a habitat to provide for its inhabitants and it shows us how everything on Earth is connected and has a role to play.


Ecosystems are communities of plants, animals, insects, fungi and microorganisms that live together in a particular physical environment – like a wetland, forest, dune, rocky shore...or...a garden.

The greater the biodiversity of an ecosystem, the stronger its networks and interconnections. A strong, healthy ecosystem has greater resilience to impacts such as extreme weather changes, pest invasion and other 'outside' influences. New Zealand's unique indigenous biodiversity has been greatly challenged by human modification and introduced species (such as possums, rats, mice, stoats), and is unable to compete. It needs all the help it can get!

Urban biodiversity

You can create wild spaces and encourage urban biodiversity by planting native trees and shrubs in a natural way.

This garden doubles as a natural fence. Image: DOC/Adrienne Grant.
This garden doubles as a natural fence and would also be very difficult to tag!

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