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Regional Council highlights regional wetlands on World Wetlands Day

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World Wetlands Day is a great opportunity to highlight the amazing and unique flora and fauna that live in these special areas in Hawke’s Bay.

Regional Council Terrestrial Ecologist Annabel Beattie says it’s important we protect wetlands and the plants and animals that live in them.

“Only four percent of the region’s original wetlands remain and much of what we have left is subject to a range of pressures”, says Ms Beattie.

The Council also works with landowners through the Priority Ecosystem programme to enhance biodiversity in prioritised wetlands on private land.  The Council regularly monitors wetland vegetation, birds, nutrient and water levels as part of the Council’s State of the Environment programme.

Wetlands are important because they:

  • are culturally valued by Māori as taonga
  • store floodwaters like giant sponges
  • improve water quality
  • are sinks for excess carbon, and
  • are habitats for a diverse range of plants and animals especially adapted for wet conditions, many of them rare and threatened species.

An example of a unique wetland species is New Zealand’s carnivorous plant Drosera binata. 

This plant uses an active flypaper method to trap crawling and flying insects. Once ensnared, the insect’s struggling stimulates tentacles on the edge of the leaf to bend inwards and trap the insect.

The plant secretes enzymes to digest the insect and then tentacles release the remains. 

2 February 2023

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