Ecological Connectivity Strategy – Connecting Nature

We are currently in the development and trial stage of this project and look forward to showcasing the finished Strategy and StoryMap by April 2022 on our website. If you would like to contact us about this project please email Janie – [email protected]


Maintaining and enhancing the connection between native habitats is important to protect native biodiversity and ensure healthy ecosystems. This is especially important as native habitats and landscapes become smaller and more divided.

With funding support from Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay Conservation Alliance and Boffa Miskell are developing an Ecological Connectivity Strategy and StoryMap Tool. The focus area for the project is currently the western Western Bay of Plenty (SH29-Waihī beach).

The strategy will assist community to work towards creating habitat stepping stones and nature corridors that improves movement of our native species across the landscape. The StoryMap is an interactive, online tool that will identify gaps and highlight opportunities to protect, enhance, connect, and extend existing valuable habitat. It will also help community to prioritise areas for conservation management, with recommended actions.

The research will focus on two ‘umbrella species’ with the understanding that conservation actions undertaken for those species will also have benefits for both their habitats and other native species in those habitats. As a starting point, kererū and matuku hūrepo (Australasian bittern) have been chosen.



The research will be done with modelling software called Linkage Mapper. It is an innovative piece of research that has only been done in two parts of New Zealand. Click on the links below to see examples:

  1. Ecological Connectivity Roadmap for Rodney East Local Board, Auckland: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/5f1968bccd99463494df1f109370804f
  2. Ecological Connectivity Strategy for Upper Harbour Local Board, Auckland: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/7657f5caa6704732879b2bb4d3cad265