Natural Environment Recovery Programme

Post-earthquakes, a natural environment recovery plan has been developed by Environment Canterbury (and others). This is part of the Recovery Strategy for greater Christchurch. Biodiversity is one of the aspects considered.

There is introductory and summary material here, or go straight to the main report here.

Plants, making the most of opportunities, including cuts in asphalt

Plants, making the most of opportunities, including cuts in asphalt

‘Old’ URBECO…

(We have changed platform, but I have appended some of the old material from this site, below.)

Here are plans, from DOC, for how to build a weta motel for your garden. (17 Nov 08)

The University of Nottingham has provided a periodic table of elements, each with a link to a video about them. (30 Oct 08)

Several multi-access keys are now available for stoneflies (Plecoptera). The site includes keys to adult and larval stages, fact sheets, a checklist and a bibliography. (24 Aug 08)

DoC have produced a number of fact sheets on the small-leaved Olearia spp. There are eight rare Olearia species included in the Small-leaved Tree Daisy National Recovery Plan. (31 May 08)

Google Sky has some great images of the sky, at a range of wavelengths. It also includes links to related podcasts. (19 Apr 08)

26 reasons what you think is right is wrong…(about cognitive biases). (12 Mar 08)

MapToaster software now provides topographical maps for use with Garmin GPS units. (10 Jan 08)

NIWA is making its nationally significant databases available free over the web, including archived data on climate and freshwater fish. (28 Jul 07)

Biodiversity in New Zealand marine ecoregion is described on a WWF site – Treasures of the sea. (25 Jun 07)

Some environment-related GIS data layers are now available at the GIS portal provided by Landcare Research. (24 May 07)

Landcare Research have put a fungal guide online, that includes a key and photographs. (2 May 07)

There are free back issues available online of some excellent journals, including
Notornis (Ornithology of the Southern Pacific),
New Zealand Journal of Forestry,
Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961, and
New Zealand Entomologist. (7 Apr 07)

Not even slightly local, but fascinating all the same, there is a panorama of McMurdo on Mars available. Slightly closer to home, are some striking aerial photographs of Africa. (24 Mar 07),

New Zealand Threat Classification System Lists have been updated by DoC. 2788 species are listed, which is an increase of 416. (1 Feb 07)

The London Biodiversity Partnership draws attention to the ecology of a city, in quite an inspiring way. (2 Dec 06)

Detailed information on New Zealand birds, including pictures, is available at Nga Manu o Aotearoa. (2 Sep 06)

Choose ‘gallery’ to see some great photos of fungi. (30 Jan 06)

The University of Canterbury library has an excellent Biological Sciences Portal. (27 Jan 06)

A booklet designed to help people on the Canterbury Plains protect and restore native plant communities is now available – “Native Plant Communities of the Canterbury Plains“. (28 Nov 05)

Biosecurity NZ have provided information about the algae “didymo” (Didymosphenia geminata). (20 Nov 05)

With Google Scholar you can search many sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles etc. (8 Nov 05)

You can turn one piece of paper into a handy (small, light, thin, customised) organiser using PocketMod. For the folding step, I recommend you follow the diagram rather than the text. (27 Oct 05)

At the What’s That Bug? site they endeavour to identify bugs from photos that people send them. (4 Sep05)

A guide to Australian ant fauna is available at Australian Ants Online. (17 May 05)

BioBlitz is a scientific race against time. 8-9 April 2005 in Hagley Park. (15 Mar 05)

Landcare have put their flora (vol. I-V) and fauna (vol. 11, 21, 40, 43) online. This includes keys, illustations, photographs, check lists, even the glossaries. The lists are searchable by flora taxon or fauna taxon. (30 Sep 04)

Back issues of the NZ Journal of Ecology (back to 1952), are now available online as PDF files. And for a limited time, everything is available free… (20 Sep 04)

Time-lapse photography of plants-in-motion - growing, flowering, responding to the seasons. (10 Jul 04)

Clear communication of data is an ongoing challenge; Edward Tufte is an inspiring read. Here is a sample, or see some of his books. (28 Jun 04)

Botanical illustrations from the Endeavour expedition (1768-1771) are on the London Natural History Museum site, including plants from New Zealand. (16 Jan 04)

Wim van Egmond has taken some great photographs of the colonial algae Volvox. (8 Jan 04)

If you use maps for fieldwork and would find a combination of topographic maps and aerial photographs, along with the facility to download and upload GPS data useful, then check out MapToaster software. (6 Oct 03)

Land Environments of New Zealand (LENZ) is a quantitatively-based environmental classification of New Zealand. It is anticipated that it will be particularly useful in biodiversity conservation and natural resources management. (6 Oct 03)

A ‘Public Access to Legislation‘ (PAL) Project is underway to enable the Crown to make legislation available to the public online.
The site includes text and amendments for New Zealand Statutory Regulations and Statutes, e.g. the Resource Management Act. (12 Sep 03)

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network was recently established with the aim that ‘no indigenous species of plant will become extinct nor be placed at risk of extinction as a result of human action or indifference, and that the rich, diverse and unique plant life of New Zealand will be recognised, cherished and restored’. (17 Aug 03)

DoC Science Publications are now available free on the internet. Excellent! (2 Jul 03)

Check out some bug sounds… (8 May 03)

A useful list of existing and potential ecological weeds in NZ has been published by DoC. The web site also references a paper version. (30 Apr 03)

There are some great botany-related pictures provided on-line by the Botanical Society of America. (21 Nov 02)

A paper on ecosystem services details some of the benefits supplied to human societies by natural ecosystems. (24 Jun 02)

A study of small pine trees growing on cliffs in North America found that the trees are 400 years old. Studies elsewhere have also found cliffs providing a distinct habitat.

“Now when we look at cliffs… we see the last remnants of a landscape untouched by humans, refuges for displaced organisms in a disrupted natural landscape, habitats of overwhelming importance to the maintenance of biodiversity that are worth our every effort to protect” (20 May 02)

NIWA have put freshwater plant, invertebrate and fish identification guides onto the web. (12 Apr 02)

DoC have released a report on “The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened invertebrates” – 280 species including worms, snails, beetles, moths, spiders, grasshoppers, weta, flies. (26 Mar 02)

Biodiversity pests in Canterbury have been targeted in a regional council strategy.

Ways to sustain indigenous biodiversity on private land in New Zealand are discussed in a report called Bio-what?, by the Ministry for the Environment.