Biodiversity

Latest news

NIWA researchers are heading out from Tasman early next week to survey an area thought to be home to important juvenile fish nurseries.
After a decade-long effort, NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir has just rolled off the presses. Written by marine biologist Kareen Schnabel, the 350-page treatise presents everything we currently know about the different kinds of squat lobster living in New Zealand’s waters.
Five specialist NIWA divers were left ‘gasping’ during their recent plunge under the ice near Scott Base.
For more than 20 years NIWA scientists have been nurturing three plants that are the only examples of their kind in existence.

Our work

The ability to properly manage our freshwater resources requires a solid understanding of the flora and fauna which live in and interact with them.
NIWA hosted an IPBES workshop entitled “Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century” held from 4-8 September 2017 in Auckland.
NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.
Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.

Latest videos

Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

Recording underwater biodiversity after earthquakes

NIWA’s marine ecologist Dr Dave Bowden talks about the catastrophic changes to the seafloor in the Kaikoura Canyon following the November 2016 earthquake.

Exploring the deepsea

Despite many centuries of maritime exploration, only a fraction of our planet's seafloor has been observed. NIWA Deepsea Scientist Di Tracey tells us what it feels like to probe deep beneath the waves to see what's living on the ocean floor.

Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem
Niwa scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.

NIWA and Environment Southland have recently returned with stunning new footage of undersea sills in Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, brimming with sea life, corals and sponges.

A recent expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth has discovered one of the most enigmatic creatures in the deep sea: the 'supergiant' amphipod.

Scientists have been reviewing evidence of changes to New Zealand's climate. They've also been projecting future changes to New Zealand's climate, and the impact on biodiversity and marine habitats.

International Congress for Conservation Biology

5 December 2011 to 9 December 2011

NIWA is sponsoring the 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology.

NIWA staff are running three workshop 'Think Tanks' before the conference, these worksops are:

Implications of environmental change to Antarctic ecosystems 2, 3, 4 December, for more information contact [email protected] 

Deep-sea coral research to enhance conservation 2, 3 December, for more information contact [email protected]

A new web portal offers a previously unseen record of the marine pests that threaten New Zealand's marine environment.

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa has just completed a very successful voyage of habitats of significance for marine organisms and biodiversity.

"We were amazed by what we saw," says NIWA's Dr Mark Morrison, programme leader.

Over 42 days, split across two voyages, the Tangaroa worked its way down the country and back, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It surveyed habitat and biodiversity hotspots around New Zealand's expansive continental shelf.

NIWA’s latest voyage of discovery will examine the expansive continental shelf around New Zealand looking for our biodiversity hotspots.

Welcome to the latest edition of Coasts Update. Here we bring you news of some of NIWA's latest research on aspects of coastal ecology, and the possible impacts of climate change on one of our coastal communities.

New Zealand's Kaikoura Canyon is a 'biodiversity hotspot', containing far more life than seen before at such depths.

Seagrass meadows – vital nursery grounds for young fish – are vanishing at an alarming rate worldwide.

NZ biodiversity captured on camera

The inaugural NZ Biodiversity Photo Competition attracted more than 350 entries from amateur and professional photographers of all ages. The competition, run by Department of Conservation, NZ National Commission for UNESCO, NIWA, and Forest & Bird, celebrated New Zealand’s unique plant and animal life and marked the 2010 UN International Year of Biodiversity.

The return of the upgraded RV Tangaroa represents a huge advancement for New Zealand science and exploration

NIWA today welcomed home RV Tangaroa, New Zealand’s only deepwater research vessel, after a $20 million dollar upgrade to enhance its ocean science and survey capabilities.

NIWA looked deep – to almost 1840 metres – and found new-to-science fish, close to the seafloor. The ocean revealed specimens of some rarely seen, and some previously unknown, fishes from New Zealand waters.

Building a publicly-available database from the results of a marine mapping survey of the Bay of Islands provides us with a stocktake of the local aquatic resource, in turn giving us valuable information on what areas we can better manage for the future.
Once you have identified the problem, and applied the necessary tools for restoring fish to your stream, the next phase of your project is to monitor the stream site to see whether restoration works.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Regional Manager - Wellington
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
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Freshwater Ecologist
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
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Marine Biologist
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