Travis Wetland is the last large freshwater wetland in Christchurch - an important habitat for native wetland plants and birds.
Fifty-five species of birds, including 35 natives, have been recorded at the wetland. Travis Wetland Heritage Park is the most important freshwater wetland for birds in Christchurch, supporting about half the total Christchurch pukeko population. An indigenous skink, the native short-fined eel and possibly the Canterbury mudfish are present in the wetland. Travis also supports healthy populations of a diverse variety of insects. As the diversity of habitat develops, additional species are expected to occur.
The presence of pests such as cats, rats, stoats, ferrets and hedgehogs have a negative effect on birds, lizards and invertebrates. Monitoring and control programmes are carried out to control these pests.
Nearly 80 percent of pre-European native wetland plant species are present in the wetland, including a number of species now rare on the Canterbury Plains. These include the only substantial stand of manuka, a species of spider orchid and a native sundew, which are regionally vulnerable.
Invasive weeds reduce the native plant diversity. Volunteers and contractors are eliminating species such as female grey willow, blackberry, gorse and grass from botanically sensitive areas.