Biodiversity is short for "biological diversity" - the number and variety of living things (animals, plants, insects, micro-organisms) found within a particular area and the complex relationships between them.
The Bay of Plenty still has about 66 percent of its original indigenous forest and scrub cover, but other ecosystem types do not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of our wetland area remains, 26 percent of our dunes (although much of these are heavily modified), and less than 30 percent of our geothermal vegetation.
Amongst the biodiversity that remains we have one or two species and ecosystems that are unique to the Bay of Plenty; including our own variety of kanuka at Thornton, the only known mainland populations (two) of the native broom Carmichaelia Williamsii, and the vast majority of the country's monoao dominated frost flats on the central plateau. Several species reach their natural geographic limits within our region.
Priority Biodiversity Sites (PBS)
Regional Council has developed a voluntary programme to empower landowners and care groups to protect and enhance Priority Biodiversity Sites (PBS) across the Bay of Plenty.
PBSs are a network of ecologically important sites that include the full range of native ecosystems (e.g., wetlands, forests, sand dunes) and threatened species in the region.
PBSs were identified in collaboration with Te Papa Atawhai/Department of Conservation to help achieve our joint goal of “maintaining or restoring a full range of Bay of Plenty’s ecosystems to a healthy functioning state”.
Do you have a PBS on your land or is there one near you? Check out our handy map.