Is there a special piece of native bush on your property? A place where the tūī and kererū hang out or a home to distinctive plants, fungi, flowers or insects? If there is, keep reading. Because it might be even more special than you think.
Taranaki Regional Council has identified more than 300 Key Native Ecosystems (KNEs) throughout Taranaki, ranging from one to 800+ hectares. Frankley, Woodleigh and Ōmata Schools have KNEs on or adjacent to their grounds, an incredible way for students to learn about and contribute to biodiversity. There are well-known KNEs such as Pukekura Park, Waipu Lagoons and Stratford’s King Edward Park as well as more hidden gems.
KNEs are sites with significant biodiversity values for our region. In assessing a potential KNE Council officers look at factors such as the presence of threatened or distinctive indigenous flora and fauna, ecosystem type and representativeness, presence of threatened land environments, ecological context of the area and sustainability of the area.
It can be a real thrill to discover and report what we find to the landowners. We’ve discovered kiwi, long-tailed bats (pekapeka-tou-roa), North Island robin (toutouwai), fernbird (mātātā), swamp maire, jointed fern – the list goes on!
The Council prioritises 20 KNEs per year to prepare a Biodiversity Plan that helps the owner protect and further enhance their habitat. It includes funding towards work such as predator trapping, planting and fencing.
A Plan could cover anything from freshwater fish passage to predator control to wetland ecology to riparian management. It’s a great opportunity for landowners and we are constantly amazed by the incredible results we see.
Check out www.trc.govt.nz/key-native-ecosystems(external link) and if you think your piece of paradise might fit the bill, get in touch. To see KNEs near you go to tinyurl.com/keynativeecosystems. KNEs are shown in yellow - click on one for details.