A regional ecological risk assessment was conducted for the Kaipara Harbour catchment in New Zealand. The Relative Risk Model was used to prioritize management of the sources of stress and habitats of concern in the basin. Semi-structured interviews with 25 representative stakeholders were conducted to obtain the resource-users' perspectives and to identify the regional stressor sources and receptor habitat data for the model. For this risk analysis we divided the catchment into nine ecological districts. Mixed-methodological approaches including content analysis, geospatial analysis, and source documentation were used to categorize source and habitat rankings, based on the relative abundance of each in the nine ecological districts. Risk characterization revealed that fishing pressure and tidal energy pose the largest sources of perceived risk to the catchment; shellfish and Maui dolphin habitats are the receptors estimated to be at greatest risk; and the Kaipara and Rodney ecological districts are the sub-regions estimated with the greatest combined risk. A Monte Carlo analysis confirmed the source inputs and revealed greater uncertainty than the estimated habitat input results. The results of this assessment can be used by policy-makers, conservation groups, and municipalities to inform the future management efforts in the harbor and catchment.
A Regional Ecological Risk Assessment of the Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand, Using a Relative Risk Model
Title: A Regional Ecological Risk Assessment of the Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand, Using a Relative Risk Model
May 19, 2015
Journal: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Kanwar, P.; Bowden, W.; Greenhalgh, S. (2015). A Regional Ecological Risk Assessment of the Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand, Using a Relative Risk Model. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 12(4), 1123-1146.