Native falcon (karearea) chicks - making a home in plantation forests

Help identify our treasures

Published Forestry Bulletin – February 2016

Looking for a new project? How about helping record the rich life of our forests as you work?

A new Biodiversity in Plantations (BiP) web portal, which can be accessed through tablets and smartphones, is helping standardise reporting of the bird, animal, insect and plant species seen in our plantation forests.

Scion scientist Steve Pawson and his colleagues have found over 100 threatened species of bird, animals and plants thriving in plantation forests. This led to Pawson developing the BiP project within NatureWatch NZ. Backed by FOA, this allows people to record sightings of any species from their forests into a forestry database.

“For those working in forestry, the portal is a hands-on standardised way to develop a national picture of biodiversity in plantations,” he explains.

Entries can be made directly into the web portal, or offline using tablets/smartphones via the free iNaturalist app for iPhone/android and uploaded when you get back to the office by wifi.

The easy-to-use system involves a drop down menu for quick entry, if you know what the bird, animal or plant is. If you’re not sure, more drop-down menus help with identification and will provide the proper biological name. If you still don’t know what you’ve seen, you can upload a good quality photograph and experts will help, says Pawson.

“Overall, the system works well,” he says, adding that when you’re used to it, entries should take about 30 seconds. “Maybe people out in the forests will see things that experts have missed.”

An annual industry update is planned so that users can see what has been identified and where, says Pawson.

“By recording what we see, we can help build public understanding of the environmental benefits of our industry.”

The establishment of the project (and the bulk upload facility of NatureWatchNZ) was made possible by the FOA with additional funding from the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Freshwater System (TFBIS) programme. TFBIS is funded by the government to help achieve the goals of the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and is administered through the Department of Conservation.

To become involved, you need to be an FOA member. Contact Venise Comfort for your login This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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