Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Bird indicators sensitive to land-use change

We are working with the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard to develop bird indicators sensitive to land-use-change impacts within production landscapes.

New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard

The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard (NZSD) is a practical tool for sustainability assessment, reporting and learning. The tool is being built in partnership with a wide range of agricultural sectors, including the kiwifruit, grape and wine, organic, forestry and sheep-beef sectors, as well as Ngāi Tahu. Our work will contribute to the environmental assessment and reporting component of the NZSD.

We are also exploring with the NZSD, Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries how our project can support the transparency of New Zealand’s Primary Industries. For example, can we design robust farmland bird indicators to help the sector report on its environmental management to markets locally and overseas?

Key challenges

  • How can bird survey information be used to report on multiple goals?
  • Which species or suite of species will be most sensitive to change under different land-use scenarios?
  • What is the optimal survey design for detecting change in bird communities within New Zealand’s production landscapes?
  • How can bird measures and indicators be best reported to inform different stakeholder needs?

Our research

We will use a combination of sensitivity and power analyses to explore these issues, using data from farmland bird surveys collected by the Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability and Bird NZ atlases. These results will be used to inform the design of indicators and measures for reporting on farmland birds in production landscapes as part of the NZSD.