You are here

Bird and lizard monitoring

Monitoring birds is one of the best ways to review the health of the ecosystem your group is working on. Bird monitoring can be recorded periodically, for example, once or twice per season. This can be done by simply recording which species are seen or heard during an hour while remaining in the same place. Another, more robust, method is the 5 minute bird count. This is the most widely-used method. It is simple and effective for recording species presence/absence and abundance at sites. It is important to ensure that everyone participating in this is aware of the correct methods (which are described in full on the Department of Conservation website).

Tui and bellbird. JL Craig


Five- minute bird counts, Department of Conservation

For information on bird identification resources and training:

Bird identification free online course, Department of Conservation

What Bird website

Website to find information about birds in New Zealand.

New Zealand Birds Online 

The New Zealand Birds Online website was created by Te Papa, the Ornithological Society of NZ and DOC. It is a searchable encyclopaedia of New Zealand birds. 
You can find detailed information about all 457 species of New Zealand birds, both living and extinct. The database is searchable by name, conservation status, and geographical distribution.
Explore the site to read expert-written texts, listen to sound files of bird calls, and browse more than 6,500 photographs (most of which are not available elsewhere).


Lizard identification and monitoring techniques - A information sheet from Wellington Restoration Day 2013

SRARNZ NZ Lizards Conservation Toolkit - see section two

Look out for Lizards, Wellington Region (With thanks to ‘Wild for Taranaki’) - screen view document (.pdf, .5MB), printable document (.pdf, 1.9MB)

Look out for Lizards, Taranaki, developed by Wild for Taranaki (.pdf, 2.5MB)

General identification

iNaturalist NZ

iNaturalist NZ is a quick way to get identifications of any organism through the add observations, photo upload and ‘ID Please’ facility.

Next: Wetland and waterway monitoring
Back to monitoring