Coverage Gaps

By NZ Bird Atlas Team December 5, 2019
Accessing remote locations can be extremely rewarding!

Photo by Dan Burgin

As we move into the summer season, we begin to get clearer indications of areas that have received little or no survey effort since the Atlas began on the 1st June. There are areas we all knew wouldn’t receive a lot of data due to their remoteness, however we’ve been impressed with the hard work put in by Atlas participants so far with 56.5% of the Atlas grid squares having data in them already. We’re really keen for people to continue submitting data in their favourite spots, however we’d also encourage Atlasers to be looking to fill in gaps and assist other regions gather data for remote areas. Even if a square is highlighted in yellow on the Effort Map, it may only have one checklist submitted to it, and so needs more effort to survey the multitude of habitats in the square. In light of this, we’ve rounded up a brief list of five areas that need attention for each region. So, with summer holidays and adventures coming up, what better way to not only have a holiday but also contribute to the Atlas!

In many grid squares, it will be possible to access examples of all major habitat types from publicly accessible locations such as roads, walking tracks, parks and reserves. In some cases, however, the only examples of particular habitats within a grid square may be on private land and you may need to walk in quite some distance. If this is the case, you must always seek access permission from the landowner before attempting to access that habitat. Please remember that when you are interacting with landowners, you will be representing Birds New Zealand and the New Zealand Bird Atlas project so please remain courteous and respectful in all of your communication.

Pick as many as you can from the list below, and input as many complete checklists in those squares as you can! This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means and was current for the end of the spring season so may have changed slightly, but ultimately it is meant to help provide some ideas and guidance on areas to focus on during these summer months and beyond. Have fun!


  1. Mataraua Forest
  2. Warawara Forest
  3. Pawarenga
  4. Tom Bowling Bay
  5. Giant Sand Dunes off Cape Reinga Road


  1. Hooks Bay
  2. The tiny corner of beach and coast in Y62, SW of Lake Ototoa
  3. Great Barrier Island
  4. Ponui/Chamberlin’s Island
  5. Maraetai


  1. Matira
  2. Woodleigh
  3. Fletcher Bay
  4. Egans Park Reserve
  5. Coromandel Forest Park


  1. Lake Matahina
  2. Taneatua
  3. Toatoa
  4. Whirinaki Forest Park
  5. Te Urewera


  1. Waihau Bay
  2. Tolaga Bay
  3. Raukumara Forest Park
  4. Te Araroa Road into AM99
  5. Whatatutu


  1. Ahuriri Point
  2. Putorino
  3. Mohaka
  4. Waihua Beach Road and Te Kiwi Stream in BB89
  5. Kaweka Forest Park


  1. Strathmore
  2. Makahu
  3. Patea Dam
  4. Moeawatea
  5. Puniwhakau


  1. Pipiriki
  2. Parinui
  3. Ruatiti
  4. Tongariro National Park
  5. Tongariro Forest


  1. BT71 & BT72 in Tararua Forest Park
  2. BT75 (Whangaehu Valley Road)
  3. BT76 (Wairiri Road)
  4. Aorangi Forest Park
  5. Tora


  1. Anatori
  2. North West Nelson Conservation Park
  3. BQ51 Farewell Spit (West of Puponga)
  4. Kahurangi National Park
  5. Nelson Lakes National Park


Nelson has data in all 7 of it’s grid squares HOWEVER areas with very little data include:

  1. Whangamoa Valley
  2. Hira Forest
  3. Maitai Valley
  4. Marsden Valley
  5. We’d encourage you to go beyond the Nelson region to help with other regions (Tasman & Marlborough for example)


  1. Wakamarina
  2. Mount Richmond Forest Park and Richmond Range
  3. Okiwi Bay
  4. Inland Kaikoura Range
  5. Raglan Range


  1. Kahurangi National Park
  2. Paparoa National Park
  3. Mount Cook National Park
  4. Mount Aspiring National Park
  5. Victoria Forest Park


  1. Mount Cook National Park
  2. Hakataramea Valley
  3. Kirkliston Range
  4. Ahuriri Conservation Park
  5. Hopkins Valley


  1. Lindis Valley
  2. Mount Aspiring
  3. Glenorchy
  4. Blue Mountains
  5. Clarks Junction


  1. Fiordland National Park
  2. Milford Sound
  3. Piano Flat
  4. Longwood Forest Conservation Area
  5. Stewart Island