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Glossary

Department of Conservation: Prioritising and partnering to manage biodiversity.

Adaptive management: An experimental approach to management, or "structured learning by doing". It is based on developing dynamic models that try to predict the effect of alternative management policies. Management learning then proceeds by systematic testing of these models, rather than by trial and error. Adaptive management is most useful when large complex ecological systems are being managed and management decisions cannot wait for final research results.

Biodiversity: The biological variability among living organisms from all sources (land and water) and the ecological complexes of which they are part. Biodiversity includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems.

Biosecurity: The protection of people and natural resources, including biodiversity, from unwanted organisms capable of causing harm.

Conservation: As defined in the Conservation Act 1987, the preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safeguarding the options of future generations. In The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (and in the Convention on Biological Diversity), the term conservation is used in a broader sense than in the Conservation Act. Although distinguished from "sustainable use" and "sustainable management", conservation embraces both the protection and judicious use and management of biodiversity for the benefit of human society and for ethical reasons, including its intrinsic value and its importance in maintaining the life-sustaining systems of the biosphere.

Conservation land: About 8.5 million hectares of land that the Department of Conservation manages on behalf of New Zealanders, guided by conservation management strategies that are agreed with local communities. Conservation land includes national parks, high-country parks, forest parks, off-shore and subantarctic islands, reserves, wildlife management areas, historic sites, and "stewardship" areas.

Conservation of biodiversity: The management of human interactions with genes, species, and ecosystems so as to provide the maximum benefit to the present generation while maintaining their potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. This encompasses elements of saving, studying, and using biodiversity.

Convention on Biological Diversity: An international agreement on biological diversity that came into force in December 1993. The objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of using genetic resources.

Ecological integrity: Refers to a healthy function condition. The Department of Conservation uses ecological integrity to measure environmental performance.

Ecological integrity indicators: Markers of an important component of ecological integrity.

Ecological integrity measures: Specific information that can be compared against a goal. The measure for species extinction is "number of extinctions".

Ecosystem: An interacting system of living and non-living parts (such as sunlight, air, water, minerals, and nutrients). Ecosystems can be small and short-lived (such as water-filled tree holes or rotting logs on a forest floor), or large and long-lived (such as forests or lakes).

Ecosystem services: Processes by which the environment produces benefits useful to people. Ecosystem services include providing clean water and air, pollinating crops, mitigating environmental hazards, controlling pests and diseases, and storing or converting carbon dioxide (carbon sequestration).

Endemic species: An indigenous plant or animal species that lives only within a specified region or locality and is unique to that area.

Indigenous species: A plant or animal species that is native to New Zealand. It need not be endemic to New Zealand.

Introduced species: A plant or animal species that humans have brought to New Zealand, either by accident or design. A synonym is "exotic species".

Invasive species: An animal pest or weed that can adversely affect indigenous species and ecosystems by altering genetic variation within species or by affecting the survival of species or the quality or sustainability of natural communities. In New Zealand, invasive animal pests or weeds are almost always species that have been introduced.

Natural habitats and ecosystems: Habitats and ecosystems with a dominant or significant indigenous natural character. They do not include modified areas, such as farm or forestry land, where the indigenous vegetation has largely been replaced, although these areas may still provide important habitats for indigenous species.

Protected area: A geographically defined area that is protected primarily for nature conservation purposes or to maintain biodiversity values, using any of a range of legal mechanisms that provide long-term security of either tenure or land use. A protected area can be either publicly or privately owned.

Rehabilitation: The recovery of specific ecosystem services in a degraded ecosystem or habitat.

Restoration: The process of helping the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.

Risk: In this report, the potential negative effect of a series of threats to species or ecosystems.

Threat: A potential source of harm to biodiversity (such as pests, changing land use patterns, and climate change).

Threatened species: A species or community that is nationally vulnerable, nationally endangered, or nationally critical. The Department of Conservation has assessed threatened species (using criteria for population trend, population size, or area occupied), to classify according to the risk of extinction.

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CoverDepartment of Conservation: Prioritising and partnering to manage biodiversity

ISBN 978-0-478-38391-1 (print)
ISBN 978-0-478-38392-8 (online)