Integrated Catchment Management

Delta habitat mapping

 Research Status: Past
Habitat map

Habitat map


Prior to this investigation, very little information was available describing intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats of the Motueka River delta. Therefore baseline description was required in order to understand natural dynamics and the effects of human activities in the catchment.

Research Approach

Mapping of the delta and the idenfication of habitat types assists in understanding the interaction and connection between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, particularly in this case where the Motueka River does not have a typical estuary. Point in time baseline mapping enables comparison with existing historical photographs and future repeat comparisons as a measure of change (e.g. in response to flood events).

Research Results

There has been a significant loss of rushlands and associated habitat surrounding the Motueka River delta between 1947 and 1986. Anecdotal evidence suggests an even greater loss occurred prior to 1947. There was little change between 1986 and 2001. Habitat losses appear to be due to stopbanking, flood gates and land drainage. These changes are likely to have had a significant negative impact on resident and migratory fish populations.

There are patches of stable boulder/mud/sand habitat off the motueka River mouth containing ecologically significanf horse mussel populations.

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Jointed wire rush Glasswort

Jointed wire rush


Recent Publications

Year Title File Size
2012 A Summary of Outcomes and selected formal publications from the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)research programme:2000 – 2011
pdf       1.08MB
2005 Coastal Workshop Held at TDC on 22 March 2005. doc       250KB
2004 Catchment-built habitats hidden by the sea: Habitat mapping of the intertidal and subtidal Motueka delta. pdf       1.27MB
More publications on this topic »
All ICM Publications »

Recent Presentations

Year Title File Size
2007 Changes in estuarine habitats due to coastal developments: Examples using GIS habitat mapping.  
2005 Intertidal and Subtidal Habitats of the Motueka River Delta. pdf       6.95MB
More presentations on this topic »
All ICM presentations »

BMPs, BEPs and Guidelines

Title Description
Community–based Dune Management for the Mitigation of
Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Effects: A Guide for Local Authorities
From manual:
This manual brings together lessons from existing and successful dune care/resto...More »  
Turning the Tide: An estuaries toolkit for New Zealand communities Toolkit produced by NZ Landcare trust coordinators Gretchen Robertson and Monica Peters for the Taie...More »  
All BMPs, BEPs & Guidelines »

Primary Contacts:

No photo available Kim Clark  EmailSend email to
Cawthron Institute
Marine scientist, ICM technical support, marine ecology
Image - Paul Gillespie Paul Gillespie  EmailSend email to paul
Phone: 03 548 2319
Fax: 03 546 9464
Cawthron Institute
Estuarine & marine microbial ecology
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Page last updated Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Related areas

Delta habitat mapping Riparian vegetation assessment River plume ecosystem Sediment generation, delivery and impacts