Lincoln University ecologist, Dr Jon Sullivan, has taken thousands of observations of the nature around him over the last 15 years.
He told an audience at the NZ Ecological Society Conference held at Lincoln over the last five days, that it was as easy as opening your office window.
His talk was called “Biodiversity where you are now: trends, patterns, and opportunities for wild indigenous biodiversity at Lincoln.
“It's a strange state of affairs that we often know more about the biodiversity of our remote wildlands than the places where we live and work.
“While New Zealanders aspire to bring more indigenous species back into our cities and farms, we can learn a lot from the species that already persist, and even thrive, wild in our modified landscapes.
He said there were observations of some species appearing at Lincoln earlier than normal, which could be attributed to climate change, but that needed more work to be determined.
Endemic birds (native and restricted to a certain place) were only a “tiny sliver” of the birds in the area, as was the vegetation, but native seedlings dominated regeneration.
He said there was “huge potential” in learning, and eliminating the impediments, to these flourishing.
Dr Sullivan said the landscape in and around Lincoln is among the most modified in New Zealand.
“Where once there was tall native podocarp-broadleaf forest and wetlands, there is now a town with no original remnant vegetation, dominated by exotic plants, and surrounded by intensive pastoral farming.”
Monitoring has been undertaken by undergraduate students in ecology and biodiversity courses, focusing on birds, mammals, and selected plants, invertebrates, and fungi.
This has been complemented by biodiscovery from two Lincoln BioBlitz events and the frequent use of iNaturalist NZ, which has documented over 1200 taxa wild in Lincoln.
Dr Sullivan was among a myriad of presenters throughout the conference which had the theme “Ngā Koiora o Konei / Biodiversity Where We Are, recognising the dire state of biodiversity at global, national and local levels, and the pressing need to document, understand and conserve biodiversity where we live”.