Selection of potential indicator species for measuring and reporting on trends in widespread native taxa in New Zealand

Biodiversity conservation Conservation New Zealand

This report identifies indicator species, which need to be monitored to help achieve biodiversity targets in New Zealand.


The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) has recently developed an Inventory and Monitoring Framework to measure progress towards biodiversity targets. It adopts the use of a hierarchical and integrated indicator framework and encapsulates three targeted national outcomes: indigenous dominance, species occupancy, and environmental representation. Indicator 5.1, ‘Composition’, within the species occupancy outcome includes elements that can collectively be thought of as an indicator of trends in widespread native taxa. We used a process based on expert elicitation to identify and select a suite of native taxa to contribute to reporting under Indicator 5.1. Using eight selection criteria reflecting biological and geographic attributes, a panel of 18 experts selected 106 taxa as a minimum set to adequately represent the full range of taxonomic groups, pressures and habitat types found in New Zealand. We recommend phased implementation of monitoring programmes for selected taxa, with priority given to taxa that both exhibit population responses to specific (as opposed to multiple) pressures and are relatively achievable to monitor.

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