For the first time, authorities fighting the spread of wilding conifers will have a complete picture of infestations throughout the country, says Minister for Land Information Mark Mitchell.
“Land Information New Zealand has developed the Wilding Conifer Information System, a web-based mapping and monitoring tool, to ensure control of this invasive species is carried out in the most efficient way possible,” Mr Mitchell says.
The Wilding Conifer Information System (WCIS) will underpin the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme - a partnership between LINZ, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Department of Conservation, the New Zealand Defence Force, regional and district councils, forestry, farming and community groups.
The WCIS will play an integral part in measuring the success of the programme.
“The tool provides for accurate and nationally consistent standards to record data about infestations and control activities,” Mr Mitchell says.
It comes complete with a mobile app for authorities to download on their devices and capture information from the field in real-time.
“This information will be vital at both regional and national levels when it comes to making decisions about where to prioritise funding for control.
“Wilding conifers are a major threat to our ecosystems, native landscapes and farms. Active management is required to tackle invasive conifers, which now affect more than two million hectares of land and are spreading at an estimated rate of five per cent a year,” Mr Mitchell says.
The mapping application can be viewed on the LINZ website: www.linz.govt.nz/wilding-conifer-information-system