Environmental Management

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 726–740 | Cite as

Spatial Modeling and Habitat Quantification for Two Diadromous Fish in New Zealand Streams: A GIS-Based Approach with Application for Conservation Management

  • Hans S. EikaasEmail author
  • Andrew D. Kliskey
  • Angus R. Mcintosh

We developed logistic regression models from data on biotic and abiotic variables for 172 sites on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, to predict the probability of occurrence of two diadromous fish, banded kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus) and koaro (G. brevipinnis). Banded kokopu occurrence was positively associated with small streams and low-intensity land uses (e.g., sheep grazing or forested), whereas intensive land uses (e.g., mixed sheep and cattle farming) and lack of riparian forest cover impacted negatively on occurrence at sampled sites. Also, if forests were positioned predominantly in lowland areas, banded kokopu occurrence declined with increasing distance to stream mouth. Koaro occurrence was positively influenced by catchment forest cover, high stream altitudes, and areas of no farming activity or mixed land uses. Intensive land uses, distance to stream mouth, and presence of banded kokopu negatively influenced koaro occupancy of stream reaches. Banded kokopu and koaro presence was predicted in 86.0% and 83.7% agreement, respectively, with field observations. We used the models to quantify the amount of stream reaches that would be of good, moderate, and poor quality, based on the probability of occurrences of the fish being greater than 0.75, between 0.75 and 0.5, or less than 0.5, respectively. Hindcasting using historical data on vegetation cover undertaken for one catchment, Pigeon Bay, showed they would have occupied most of the waterway before anthropogenic modification. We also modeled potential future scenarios to project potential fish distribution.


Galaxiidae Diadromous fish New Zealand Spatial prediction Habitat quantification Land use 



This study was funded by a grant from the Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust, New Zealand. We thank Leanne O’Brien, Nicholas Dunn, Jane Goodman, Rachel McNabb, Russell Taylor, and other members of the Freshwater Ecology Research Group for their help with field work, and Dominic Lee from the Biomathematics Research Centre at The University of Canterbury for helpful comments and suggestions on statistical procedures. Henry E. Connor provided valuable information on the vegetation of Banks Peninsula. We thank the Department of Conservation, Canterbury Conservancy for providing access to conservation areas on Banks Peninsula, and various landowners for access to sites on their property. Graham Furniss provided his expertise in programming to develop a method for propagating variables up and down stream networks. Finally, we thank Jon Harding, Maree Hemmingsen, and Burn Hockey for valuable comments that improved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans S. Eikaas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew D. Kliskey
    • 2
  • Angus R. Mcintosh
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Alaska–AnchorageAnchorageUSA
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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