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Site selection of urban wildlife sanctuaries for safeguarding indigenous biodiversity against increased predator pressures

journal contribution
posted on 11.09.2021, 02:26 by A Rastandeh, Daniel BrownDaniel Brown, Maibritt Pedersen ZariMaibritt Pedersen Zari
Biodiversity loss in urban landscapes is a global challenge. Climate change is a major driving force behind biodiversity loss worldwide. Using Wellington, New Zealand as a research site, the aim of this research is to show how the most suitable patches of vegetation in urban landscapes can be identified, ranked, and prioritised as potential urban wildlife sanctuaries. This is in order to protect vulnerable indigenous fauna from some of the indirect impacts of climate change such as increased predator pressures and the spread of diseases among urban fauna caused by rising temperatures. A GIS-based multi-criteria analysis of spatial composition and configuration of patches of vegetation was undertaken with reference to eight factors affecting the quality of habitat patches and accordingly fauna behaviours in urban landscapes. Results show that Zealandia, the Wellington Botanic Garden, the Town Belt, and Otari-Wilton's Bush are respectively the most important urban sites for establishing pest-free urban wildlife sanctuaries in the study area. This research reveals that patch size should not be considered as the single most important factor for the site selection of urban wildlife sanctuaries because the collective importance of other factors may outweigh the significance of patch size as a single criterion. Lessons learned in the course of this research can be applied in similar cases in New Zealand or internationally in order to facilitate the process of site selection for the establishment of urban wildlife sanctuaries in highly fragmented urban landscapes suffering from rising temperatures and other climatic changes.


Preferred citation

Rastandeh, A., Brown, D. K. & Pedersen Zari, M. (2018). Site selection of urban wildlife sanctuaries for safeguarding indigenous biodiversity against increased predator pressures. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 32, 21-31.

Journal title

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening



Publication date





Elsevier BV

Publication status