Ecological design : New Zealand birds in the landscape : this study [dissertation] has been submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Diploma of Landscape Architecture in the University of Canterbury [Lincoln College]
0.0 "As a species with the ability to think, plan, and alter the environment in ways no other species can, man has a responsibility for managing and protecting the environment ... and fish and wildlife resources ... now and for generations to come." Only recently have efforts been made to link the field of landscape planning and design with that of ecology. One of the main purposes of this report is to emphasize the importance of strengthening this link for long range conservation of our environment. Man shares his dependence on the stability of the environment with other species. 0.1 Conservation of the environment, and hence, conservation of wildlife, spans a wide range of mans scientific and aesthetic needs. The need for environmental conservation promotes scientific research to discover and understand the organization of nature, which forms the basis of all life, and provides a means of retaining parts of our heritage which have both tangible and intangible values. 0.2 One of the most important roles of wildlife (especially birds) in the landscape 18 as an indicator of environmental conditions. Indigenous wildlife can be used as a monitor for ecological planning and design to ensure that the ecological balance is maintained within ecosystems. Therefore, to conserve wildlife is to conserve the New Zealand ecosystem. 0.3 There exists a correlation between methods employed to conserve indigenous wildlife and overall conservation of the fragile New Zealand ecosystem, e.g. soil and water conservation. Wildlife has therefore been selected to illustrate the need for ecological planning and design and the application of ecological principles to planning and design. 0.4 There is a growing awareness of New Zealand's unique flora and fauna; a remnant from a previous age which has been maintained by biogeographical processes. Their full value and potential has yet to be realized. 0.5 In New Zealand, birds are the obvious form of wildlife upon which to develop the concept of ecological design and planning. They evolved as the highest level of the 'animal' kingdom in the natural New Zealand ecosystem. 0.6 This report concentrates on indigenous avifauna species. They are more threatened by mans activities and are a more sensitive indicator of the conditions within natural ecosystems than most introduced species. The latter are usually less specialized and better adapted to man-modified systems, and hence will tolerate levels of environmental damage that exceed the limits of safety for the New Zealand ecosystem as a whole. The guidelines suggested in this report for wildlife conservation and habitat management, are tailored towards terrestrial native species (i.e. birds of the forest and wetland). These species are more threatened by human development and disturbance than the majority of our highly mobile coastal species. However, some of the points mentioned in this report are applicable to coastal habitats. 0.7 The lack of specific information on indigenous avifauna species has, in some areas, hampered efforts to develop meaningful explicit guidelines. Many critical questions still remain unanswered: the size of an area required for a community or species, how wide connecting corridors must be, etc. Despite these shortcomings, the guidelines provided should assist environmental and wildlife conservation. 0.8 While many people have become conservation conscious with respect to large areas of forest or wetland, they often fail to relate conservation to other parts of the environment (i.e. the damage resulting from everyday practices). It is hoped this report will provide insight for creating a better environment for both wildlife and people. The achievement of these goals depends on the work of planners, landscape architects, engineers, private landowners, and other professionals. The landscape architect has a significant effect on the ecology and hence wildlife, of existing and proposed developments. 0.9 Most planners and landscape architects are sensitive to broad environmental opportunities and constraints. However, the purpose of this report is to emphasize the need for all components of the landscape (i.e. wildlife, vegetation, climate, etc) to be considered in relation to ecological principles and to illustrate the very complex problems of the vulnerable New Zealand ecosystem.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordslandscape design; landscape planning; ecological design; wildlife conservation; habitat management; habitat modification; wildlife conflicts; Landscape protection; Birds
Fields of Research050104 Landscape Ecology; 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management; 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity; 120107 Landscape Architecture
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