New Zealand’s famous coastlines and rolling green hills look pristine, but belie a more complex story. Overgrazing has placed New Zealand squarely in the nature “could recover” category. New Zealand’s indigenous grasslands (and the many rare species these ecosystems support) are approaching the imperiled status.
In the last two decades, mounting environmental awareness and international attention have led to the establishment of several new protected areas in New Zealand. These areas increase the likelihood that New Zealand will conserve what remains of its stunning natural heritage. Yet much still needs to be done to interconnect these areas and restore important landscapes that have been degraded by overgrazing.
Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.
Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.
Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.
Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.
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Fiordland nourishes dozens of rare species, such as the crested penguin and the brown kiwi, and is New Zealand’s largest area of unmodified vegetation.
Kahurangi is as wild as it is accessible. An inspiring mix of alpine herbfields and coastal forests, it showcases New Zealand’s stunning ecological diversity.
After receiving protected area status, this marine reserve experienced an 818% increase in snapper biomass, a keystone species for reef health.