Wetlands are unique habitats. They vary widely in type including peatlands, swamps, open water habitats and many variations between. They have varying degrees of water holding capacity and usually have unique vegetation associations. Like waterways, wetlands and their riparian margins provide fisheries and wildlife habitat and help filter farm nutrient, sediment and faecal runoff. NZ has a wide variety of bird species that depend for all or parts of their life cycle on wetland habitats. Many of NZ's native fish species live in wetland habitats and need these habitats to be in good ecological condition to sustain healthy populations.
Disappearing into the ground
Reports state that NZ has lost 90% of its wetlands. This is probably true for the lower Waiau catchment. The Te Anau Basin of the catchment however still has a number of wetlands on private farm land. Most have undergone varying degrees of development for agriculture (draining, burning, grazing), but fortuitously many still have some intact natural values. Those left are worth protecting and restoring.
The Trust can provide grant money for permanent fencing wetlands and their riparian margins and permanent removal of grazing animals. The results of such simple enhancement activities can be spectacular, with recovery of native wetland vegetation and the return of wetland dependent bird species.
Do you live in the Waiau Catchment?
Do you have a wetland on your property you would like to protect? The Waiau Trust can help; contact us to find out how.
The Trust provides grants, of up to 25% of the cost of fencing of wetlands and their riparian margins on private property. Find out more about how we can help you fund your riparian management.