Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


Aerial view of Waitutu, Southland. Image - Tomas Easdale

Aerial view of Waitutu, Southland. Image - Tomas Easdale

The goal of this project is synthesise point-based occurrence data for individual species, depicting their current ranges, and, use spatial layers and analytical modelling, predicting what should be their full natural ranges.

The first step in developing biodiversity indicators is to mobilise and integrate of national-scale bio-data. This includes collating existing digital data that are accessible for defined categories of species occurrence data, including casual observations from a multitude of sources, specimens housed in national collections and other repositories, and quantitative survey data collected as part of existing monitoring efforts. In order to gather data on trees, the project will go through 1.5 million records of biodata from a number of national repositories that were developed as part of NZ’s commitment as a signatory to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

The next step is to model and derive indicators using the available species information. The species distribution modelling (SDM) process uses computer algorithms to predict the full natural distribution of species in geographic space on the basis of a mathematical representation of their known distribution in environmental space. Both species range and species distributions will then be visually displayed and through the use of online maps and spatial portals.