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A collaborative project funded by New Zealand's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge 2017 - 2020


Sheep and beef farms make up nearly 40% of Aotearoa's landscape and play a vital role in our economy. We know that biodiversity can help increase agroecosystem resilience, but we don't know what is required to create and support changes in how biodiversity is regarded, protected and managed on farms.

Our goal is to improve biodiversity in agricultural landscapes while improving the performance of the farm as a business. By doing this we can make conservation goals much more achievable to New Zealand's sheep and beef farmers and make a real impact on the state of our native species.


Our goals:

Gain a holistic view of how biodiversity is perceived and managed on sheep and beef farms in New Zealand.


Understand the roles biodiversity plays on these farms with respect to ecological processes, economic outcomes and human well-being.

Determine how biodiversity can be managed in agroecosystems in the future, in a way that will benefit both farming and native biodiversity.

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The Farming & Nature Conservation project involves biological and social scientists from Auckland University of Technology, Canterbury University, Auckland University and AgResearch.


We work closely with farmers, iwi, communities and councils to gain a well-rounded view of issues and solutions.

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We have three study farms across Aotearoa, in the north Canterbury, Ruapehu and Kaipara districts. 


They range in size from just over 100ha to over 1000 ha, but they are all tied together by a shared love of native biodiversity.

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Farming & Nature Conservation combines contemporary science and Kaupapa Māori to investigate the values and management strategies on both Māori and non-Māori owned farms.

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Field work, analysis, meetings and more . . .

every two months we keep people updated on the project with our newsletter.


Read our latest update or media coverage here,

or email to

be added to the mailing list.

Looking for publications or habitat restoration guides? 

Find all of our resources and a guide to external resources here.

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