Habitat Changes

New Zealand’s habitat has been dramatically altered as a result of the arrival of humans less than 1,000 years ago.

Selwyn’s productive landscape is an essential part of our community and a reflection of the hard work of early settlers forging a livelihood and economy in our district.

Loss of Native Cover and Habitat

However, an outcome of this history has been the extensive loss of native cover and habitat and the introduction of pest plants that compete against remnant native flora and fauna.


The most damaging pests include possums, stoats, feral cats, rats, deer and goats (see www.doc.govt.nz for more details).

Selwyn District has less than 10% native vegetation cover and this level is listed as acutely threatened in the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy.

Biodiversity at your Place

Opportunities exist to incorporate biodiversity into your private farm, garden, and local environment.

Enhancing and protecting existing native vegetation through fencing, establishing eco-sourced plants in shelterbelts, or incorporating natives into your garden add valuable food sources and homes for native birds and insects.

LiffeyExcluding Stock from Waterways

Excluding stock (deer, cattle and horses) from waterways avoids pugging and damage to aquatic breeding habitats, and planting the northern banks of waterways provides shade and decreases the need for cleaning.

Collectively we can all make a difference to increase biodiversity within our productive landscape and to protect significant natural areas.

More Information

For more information please contact: Andy Spanton, Biodiversity Coordinator.

Phone (03) 347-2907or e-mail biodiversity@selwyn.govt.nz