Conserving biological diversity

Forests, particularly indigenous forests, support a substantial proportion of the planet’s biological diversity. Biological diversity (biodiversity) enables ecosystems to respond to external influences, recover after disturbances and maintain essential ecological processes.

Human activities and natural processes can reduce biodiversity by (i) altering and fragmenting habitats, (ii) introducing invasive species, or (iii) reducing the population or ranges of species.

Conserving the diversity of organisms and their habitats supports forest ecosystems and their ability to function, reproduce and remain productive.

Measuring biodiversity

Biodiversity can be measured in terms of:

(i)    ecosystem diversity

(ii)   species diversity

(iii)  genetic diversity.

  • Improved monitoring and mapping are providing better information about changes in biodiversity in New Zealand’s forests.
  • Indigenous forests are a critical element: the area of publicly owned indigenous forest protected by legislation has increased by 3.7 percent since 2006. Some 76 percent of indigenous forest remains in public ownership.
  • Considerable resources go into protecting threatened habitats and species; since the last threat status assessment, 12 threatened taxa have improved in status and 59 have worsened in status.

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