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Restoring biodiversity; beating invasive species

Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity evolved in isolation and much is globally unique.

Our work enables New Zealand to

  • reverse the decline of native species, habitats and ecosystems
  • makuru ana nga mahinga kai (gather food from abundant and flourishing areas)
  • increase the resilience of natural ecosystems

Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity evolved in isolation and much is globally unique. We curate national and Pacific collections of biodiversity on land (plants, invertebrates, fungi, and microorganisms), and our research helps users understand and value its richness, observe changes and risks from exotic species, and find new uses for biological materials. Our research provides understanding of how ecosystems function, the threats they face, and how they can be restored. The potential for Māori whānau, hapū, and iwi to generate economic returns from indigenous plants continues to be a strong area of interest.

We contribute to national biosecurity through providing capability and confidence in assessing biological threats and using control tools – especially at landscape scales – for weeds, pests, predators, and diseases.

In this section

Plants, fungi, arthropods & bacteria

Our work to identify and classify species underpins all other work on New Zealand’s biodiversity, as well as being vital for our biosecurity.

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Species & ecosystem conservation

We aim to understand how ecosystems function and how to manage them sustainably.

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Weed biocontrol

Controlling weeds in New Zealand is a challenging and expensive task. Weed biocontrol offers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and permanent solution to weed control.

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Animal pest management

Introduced animal pests have significant and costly impacts on New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, primary production sector and on cultural and social values.

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Ecosystem resilience

Globally, there is growing concern that the exploitation of ecosystems and land use intensification is causing widespread declines in ecosystem condition.

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Invasive invertebrates

In New Zealand there are more than 2000 species of invasive invertebrates already established. Some of these, such as Vespula wasps, have become abundant invaders that threaten our native ecosystems. More invasive invertebrates are continually arriving.

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