Saturday, May 28, 2005

NEW ZEALAND - Bailing Hard To Save Moa's Ark

This article on New Zealand's Scoop by DOC journalist Bernie Napp, discusses the huge task faced by the Conservation Department in protecting New Zealand's endangered animals and plants.
English botanist David Bellamy coined the term "Moa's Ark" for New Zealand and its unusual flora and fauna, inspired by the tallest bird that ever lived.

One of a kind: kiwi, kakapo (only flightless parrot and world’s heaviest parrot), takahe (world’s largest rail), kea (only alpine parrot), stitchbird, kokako, saddleback, short-tailed bat (only bat that eats both fruit and insects).

Living fossils: tuatara, native frogs, weta, kauri snails and flax snails.

Gondwanaland relics: podocarp forests (totara, rimu, matai, miro, kahikatea and the like), southern beech forests, tree-ferns, native galaxiid fishes (including whitebait)