Wetlands in the agricultural landscape
Wetlands are rapidly becoming some of New Zealand's rarest ecosystems. The loss of the major proportion of the wetland resource existing in New Zealand at the time of European settlement has occurred mainly through drainage of land for farming. There is, however, a growing awareness among landowners and the general public that wetlands possess many values other than the opportunity they offer to provide productive agricultural land through drainage. This awareness is fostered by the increasing scarcity of wetlands, particularly in lowland areas. It is becoming clear to more and more people that not only is the wetland resource not inexhaustible, but that if steps are not taken now to conserve the small proportion of the original wetland area that is left, what has already occurred in regions such as Taranaki may become a national phenomenon – we will find ourselves with no wetland areas of consequence remaining. There is an urgent need for information to be available to landowners and those involved in management of agricultural land on the nature of wetlands and their many values, and for guidelines and more detailed information for those concerned with conserving and enhancing the wildlife, landscape and other values of natural and man-made wetland areas. This report attempts to fulfil that need. PART ONE provides an overview of wetlands in New Zealand, their characteristics, values and current status. PART TWO describes ecological and landscape design guidelines for wetland conservation and creation, and discusses also the importance of linkages between wetland areas. PART THREE deals with more detailed aspects of wetland creation and management. It is stressed that WETLANDS IN THE AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE is essentially a Wildlife-oriented study, with a major emphasis on birds. Other wetland values are discussed, however, as are other forms of wetland wildlife such as fish.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordswetlands; wetland conservation; agricultural landscape; wildlife; vegetation; wildlife habitat; wetland design; ecological design; landscape design; wetland management
Fields of Research050104 Landscape Ecology; 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity; 050205 Environmental Management; 120107 Landscape Architecture
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