Description

The Threatened Environment Classification is an interactive GIS tool which helps planners identify and set a value on New Zealand‘s threatened environments. Landcare Research has produced a Threatened Environments tool for identifying environments with much reduced indigenous ecosystems. The tool was developed with end-users including Department of Conservation (DOC), Ministry for the Environment (MfE), Land Information New Zealand, regional councils and the QEII National Trust. Threatened Environments is an add-on to LENZ (Land Environments of New Zealand), an MfE funded software product by Landcare Research that combines information on land environments, land cover, protected areas and similar information at a range of scales, from national to local. Threatened Environments shows at a glance how much of any environment remains in native cover and how much is protected – key criteria in determining the significance of remaining indigenous vegetation. It also assigns environments to one of five categories ranging from acutely threatened to not threatened. The tool can display loss and protection statistics for any area or point, assess priorities for protection and conservation management, and report on biodiversity achievements.

Purpose

The Threatened Environment Classification Tool was created to make LENZ (Land Environments of New Zealand) accessible to key biodiversity managers. It is an extension to LENZ that enables users to identify land environments in which remaining indigenous biodiversity is substantially reduced and poorly protected. It provides a consistent, objective and readily accessible tool to inform:

  1. The assessment of significance (i.e. by the primary significance criterion of representativeness)
  2. Identification of priorities for protection of indigenous biodiversity
  3. Reporting of biodiversity protection achievements.

Latest Version 1
State of Development Please Select
Current Development Activity There is no guarantee that there will be an update to the Threatened Environment Classification. It cannot be repeated in the future unless further full national updates of the land cover database are produced using satellite imagery taken over as short a time period as possible (e.g., single summer). At present, there is no commitment from national agencies to produce a land cover database to update and improve upon LCDB2 for herbaceous cover classes such as indigenous grasslands. The Threatened Environment Classification may be improved by updating the version of the Protected Area Network of New Zealand, including the valid information on protected areas provided by local authorities. Again, such updates will depend upon funding from, and coordination among, government agencies.

Development Contact

Ellen Cieraad
cieraade@landcareresearch.co.nz
+64 3 321 9827
Landcare Research
P.O. Box 40 Lincoln 7640, New Zealand

Main Developers

  • Landcare Research

Scope

Outcome Areas Economic, Environmental
Management Domains Land, Biodiversity
Subdomains Ecosystem/Habitat, Native biodiversity & Biodiversity Loss
Intended End Users Regional Councils, central government agencies, trusts involved in conservation, distric councils and unitary authorities, ecological consultancies and environmental NGOs.
Spatial Resolutions 10-100m
Spatial Extents National
Spatial Dimensions 2D
Temporal Resolutions Not applicable
Temporal Extents Not applicable
Steady State or Dynamic Steady State
Level of Integration Environmental, Economic

Input & Output Data

Key Input Data Land Cover • Protected Area Network NZ (PAN-NZ) & Land Environments New Zealand (LENZ)
Input Data Formats ASCI, GIS compatible files, Test File(s)
Key Output Data Extent of loss of native vegetation
Output Data Formats a map

Accessibility

Open/Closed Source Open Source
Licence Type No Licence
Licence Cost
(Non Commercial)
$
Licence Cost
(Commercial)
$

User Information

Operating Systems MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Dos executable
Software Needed Internet explorer or any form of GIS
User Interface Please Select None, layer in GIS, or visualised using OurEnvironment tool
Ease of Use Easy Easy, if visualised in use Landcare Research online GIS tool “OurEnvironment”. If using in a GIS of course GIS knowledge is required.
Use in Policy Process Plan (Policy Formulation), Do (Policy Implementation), Check (Policy Evaluation), Review (Issue Identification)
Documentation

Walker, S., Cieraad, E., Grove, P., Lloyd, K., Myers, S., Park, T. and Porteous, T. (2007). Guide for Users of the Threatened Environment Classification - http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/21688/TECUserGuideV1_1.pdf

Support TEC Home Page - http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/maps-satellites/threatened-environment-classification
Users Forum None

Technical Considerations

Programming Language NA
Methods included for calibration and validation None
Methods included for managing uncertainty None
Analytical Techniques Input/output, GIS
Model Structure

Overlay of LENZ lvl 4 environments, native vegetation (determined by a binary exotic/indigenous classification of the LCDB2 landcover classes), and areas protected for biodiversity reasons – together provide for every LENZ lvl4 environment the extent of native vegetation remaining and extent protected.

Keywords LENZ, biodiversity, threatened, land environments
Links

TEC Home Page - http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/maps-satellites/threatened-environment-classification

Key References

Walker, S., R. Price, D. Rutledge, R. T. T. Stephens, and W.G. Lee. (2006). Recent loss of indigenous cover in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 30: 169–177 - http://www.newzealandecology.org/nzje/abstract.php?volume_issue=j30_2&pdf_filename=NZJEcol30_2_169.pdf&uniqueID=2313

Lloyd, K.M. and Cieraad, E. (2007). Use of LENZ and LCDB2 for determining the representative value of stands of indigenous vegetation. Presentation at the New Zealand Ecological Society Conference, Christchurch 2007.  -  http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/databases/threatened/documents/LENZ_LCDB2_representativeness.pdf

Leathwick, J.R.; Wilson, G.; Rutledge, D.; Wardle, P.; Morgan, F.; Johnston, K.; McLeod, M.; Kirkpatrick, R. 2003: Land environments of New Zealand. David Bateman, Auckland, New Zealand.

Associated Case Studies

  • TEC - West Coast Region, New Zealand

    The objectives was to identify the status of the LENZ environments of the West Coast Regional Council area in terms of the Threatened Environment Classification (TEC), and to quantify the degree of indigenous cover remaining in the West Coast Region; and Buller, Grey and Westland Districts.

    Read more
  • TEC - Recent loss of indigenous cover in New Zealand

    Recently developed national spatial databases enable improved estimates of how much of the full range of New Zealand’s terrestrial biodiversity pattern remains, its rates of change, and how much is legally protected.

    Read more
  • Other Key Case Studies

    Many regional councils are using the TEC tool to communicate biodiversity protection issues and priorities to the public, including biodiversity strategies (e.g., Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy led by Environment Canterbury), and state of the envirnometn reporting (e.g., Greater Wellington State of the Environment Report 2005). The tool has been incorporated in (draft) Regional Policy Statements in several regions around the country (including Auckland Horizons, Wellington, Waikato, Southland, Canterbury). The first two categories of the Threatened Environment Classification have been adopted as National Priority 1 in the government’s non-statutory Statement of National Priorities for protecting rare and threatened native biodiversity on private land (April 2007). This has resulted in a wide uptake of TEC, and regional and district councils use these national priorities to address their biodiversity responsibilities.