Horizons aims to restore significant habitats with research and monitoring, pest plant and pest animal control, funding assistance, and specific work programmes for wetland enhancement. The wetlands programme identifies the top 100 wetlands that we need to protect.

Wetlands are wet areas that support plants and animals adapted to wet conditions. Wetlands can include swamps, bogs, estuaries, salt marshes, lakes, ponds, lagoons, and margins of rivers and streams.

Wetlands once covered extensive areas of the country, but now the region has only 3 per cent of its original wetland habitat. The conservation and restoration of wetland habitats can make a real and positive difference for wetland species.

For more information on the preservation of natural character of wetlands, lakes, rivers and their margins read the Revised Regional Wetland Inventory and Prioritisation report and the wetland inventory maps that accompany the report.

The Manawatū River Estuary

The Manawatū River Estuary, at the mouth of the Manawatū River near Foxton, is the largest estuary in the lower North Island of New Zealand. It is an important site in the lifecycle of many indigenous and migratory bird and fish species, and a significant recreational resource. In recognition of the ecological importance of the site, it was declared a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in July 2005, one of only six in New Zealand. This great achievement was possible because of the efforts of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand, supported by the Manawatū Estuary Trust.