A project that will map the distribution of all the country's bird species was launched in Wellington on Saturday.
The New Zealand Bird Atlas will update three earlier atlases, most recently in 2004.
The launch will take place at Birds New Zealand's 80th annual conference.
Up to 80 percent of New Zealand's native land birds are now at risk of extinction.
Its president Bruce McKinlay said the data would be able to show any changes to where birds were found or how common they were.
"That will inform policy making at a national level through the Department of Conservation [and] Ministry for the Environment.
"It will inform our reporting as a nation to our international obligations on the convention of biodiversity and it will assist local and regional government to actually make better policy."
There would also be opportunities for the public to go out and contribute to the data, Mr McKinlay said.
"The New Zealand Bird Atlas will probably become New Zealand's largest citizen-science enterprise, mobilizing many observers throughout the country to record the presence of bird species."