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Biodiversity Day

Biodiversity Day

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity and it’s an ideal time for Aucklanders to find out what can be done in our own backyards to help improve our region’s biodiversity.

International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations initiative and is celebrated in 32 countries. It aims to increase the understanding and awareness of how important healthy biodiverse ecosystems are to us as a population.

With over one-third of New Zealand’s native shrubs, trees and fern species, and over half of New Zealand’s bird species being found in our region, Biodiversity Day provides Aucklanders with an opportunity to connect with the unique wildlife in their backyard.

This time of year is ideal to be removing weeds from your garden and planting native plants so when spring arrives native wildlife will be encouraged into your backyard.

“Auckland residents are encouraged to clear pest plants and weeds from their gardens and replace them with native options,” says Gael Ogilvie, the manager of environmental services at Auckland Council.

“People often associate biodiversity protection with forests and wetlands but backyards play an important role too. They act as ’stepping stones’ for birds travelling throughout the region and provide habitat for species such as our native lizards and butterflies,” says Ms Ogilvie.

Everyone can help restore Auckland's native biodiversity. Here's some advice for planning your urban garden:
• plant native trees and shrubs that provide shade, shelter and food for wildlife
• plant native species local to your area – this is called ecosourcing
• find out if your property is part of a green network or corridor
• understand your garden environment – the wet, dry, sunny and windy places, and your soil type
• consider the final size of the tree/shrub you plan to plant
• consider whether plants will impede or enhance a view
• consider the impact of plants on drainage and stormwater
• plant natives to provide colour and texture in urban gardens
• space plants close to stop weeds
• mulch around plants to stop weeds coming back and help soil retain moisture.

Planting guides for different locations are available on the Auckland Council website, keyword: restoring biodiversity. Alternatively you can contact your local Biodiversity officer via email onbiodiversity@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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