Main Threats

The main threats to Wellington's biodiversity are further habitat loss and introduced pest species.

Possum

About biodiversity

Biodiversity is essential for our existence - healthy biological resources and ecosystem processes are needed for clean water, soil and air.

Globally, biodiversity is in decline and the rate of biodiversity loss is accelerating. In New Zealand, one-third of our birds are now extinct and three-quarters of the remaining species are threatened.

Wellington has unique natural areas and landscapes - its biodiversity. Examples include penguins and pingao around the rugged South Coast, flax-covered coastal escarpments, dolphins in the harbour and tall miro and matai in dense remnant forests.

Threats to Wellington's biodiversity

The main threats to Wellington's biodiversity are further habitat loss and introduced pest species.

Habitat loss

Wellington's once continuous range of ecosystems is now a patchwork of isolated fragments.

Current Habitat Cover (677KB PDF)

Historical Habitat Cover (562KB PDF)

Wellington has lost 95% of its lowland forest with most of our wetlands and dune systems gone. Many streams are now piped.

Pests

More than 27,000 species were introduced to New Zealand. Native plants are now becoming smothered by exotic weeds or eaten by animals like goats, deer and possums.

Native birds, lizards, frogs and insects (including weta) are victims of predators such as stoats, rats and cats.