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Iwi and conservation groups throughout the country can now track and plan the conservation progress of native taonga species in their rohe thanks to a new free software package developed by Manaaki Whenua.

The software contains publicly available mapping data to allow users to visualise and track the success of conservation efforts for specific species such as kiwi. The software can show where particular species live, and the changing environment and sub-species distributions across a large landscape or region, or at an iwi-specific scale.

The project is the first of its kind and was created by Manaaki Whenua in conjunction with the national kiwi protection organisation Kiwis for Kiwi, as a direct response to feedback from conservation groups asking for a low-level introduction to geospatial visualisation tools for monitoring and planning conservation progress.

With the package, users can access all basic GIS maps in one place and look at geospatial layers of land cover, vegetation, rivers and other information at a specific scale. They can visually track their conservation efforts, see environmental or species changes, and map out where they should focus future endeavours to achieve conservation goals.