- Identification of species and habitat/vegetation types
- Assessments of relative ecological value
- Management assessments
- Wetland delineation
- Wetland mapping (including at landscape scale)
Wildland Consultants Ltd has a very strong portfolio of experience with wetland restoration, assessment and site management. Our wetland projects are extensive, and include large restoration planning and works, vegetation mapping, assessment of effects, delineation, and monitoring. This experience extends throughout New Zealand, with over 400 consultancy reports written on wetlands. We developed a recent advance in cost-efficient wetland monitoring, and have assessed regionally significant wetlands for regional councils. We regularly assist Councils with compliance issues relating to clearance of wetlands, where on numerous occasions we have assessed the previous extent and composition of cleared wetlands using aerial imagery from previous years.
Wildlands staff have been involved in the large-scale mapping of Regionally Significant Wetlands within the Upper Taieri Wetlands Complex, to help identify practical fencing boundaries, and a desktop assessment of all wetlands mapped in Otago (Schedule 9 of the Otago Regional Plan), to resolve any wetland boundary issues and discrepancy, and to map any additional inland natural wetlands not currently mapped.
Another key project was the assessment and ranking of 304 wetlands in Northland for Northland Regional Council, including identification and mapping to address information gaps. This project spanned from Cape Reinga to Mangawhai, and included a wide range of wetland types, including swamps, bogs, fens, dune lakes, and saltmarsh. Wetlands were ranked for ecological values by ecological district, and wetland types. The techniques used for mapping included aerial imagery and field surveys.
We also identified wet heathlands in Northland for Northland Regional Council. This project revised and updated the wet heathlands layer for the entire Northland Region using a combination of GIS techniques (overlays of soil maps, LCDB, and natural area maps), supplemented by field surveys, analysis of aerial photographs, and fixed wing flights. The project led to refined boundaries for many sites (documenting recent loss) and the addition of 113 wet heathlands that were previously omitted from the wet heathland map and database. The study covered 17,554 hectares of wet heathlands at a scale of 1:5000.
Other recent projects have included:
- Review of the wetland ranking system for Greater Wellington Regional Council;
- Development and trial of a framework for ranking the ecological values of lake ecosystems, including adjacent wetlands in the Waikato;
- Monitoring of wetlands along the Waikato River, including assessments of change;
- Compilation of a wetland register for the Otago Regional Council (including mapping of over 2,800 ephemeral wetlands);
- Mapping of historic and current wetlands across Southland Region;
- Mapping of all freshwater and estuarine wetlands adjacent to the Tauranga and Ōhiwa harbour margins;
- Extensive wetland restoration projects, including the rehabilitation of Norske Skog treatment areas (many of which are on private land, giving us unique knowledge of the wetlands in New Zealand);
- Numerous assessments of ecological effects that impact wetlands, including evidence at Environment Court hearings;
- Involvement in the National Wetland Trust;
- Assistance to Councils on policy wording and interpretation regarding wetlands.