Braided river field guide

Department of Conservation
Braided rivers are very special habitats with plant and animal communities that are found nowhere else in the world. Physically similar extensive braided rivers are rare world-wide and occur only in Alaska, Canada and the Himalayas. Canterbury contains 60% of the braided-river habitat in New Zealand, and the Mackenzie Basin contains some of the most pristine of these rivers. This field guide briefly describes the ecology of some eighty introduced and native species found in the braided rivers and wetlands of the Mackenzie Basin, but many of these species are also found in other braided rivers. Project River Recovery (PRR) is a DOC programme that aims to maintain and enhance braided-river and wetland habitats and ecological communities in the upper Waitaki Basin. PRR is funded by Meridian Energy Limited under a compensatory agreement that recognises the adverse effects of hydro-electric power development on rivers and wetlands. DOC and Meridian Energy are working together on jointly agreed projects to protect braided river habitats and their special communities of native plants and animals. We hope that this guide adds to your enjoyment of braided rivers and wetlands by enabling you to understand more about the variety of animals and plants that live in these special ecological systems.

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