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Encyclopedia > Biodiversity of New Zealand

The biodiversity of New Zealand, a large Pacific archipelago, is one of the most unusual on Earth, due to its long isolation from other continental landmasses. Its affinities are derived in part from Gondwana, from which it separated 82 MYA, some modest affinities with New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island, both of which are part of the same continental plate as New Zealand and in part from Australia. More recently a component has been introduced by humans. New Zealand's biodiversity exhibits high levels of endemism, both in its flora and fauna. The islands historically have no native mammals except for bats, the main component of the fauna being insects and birds. Its flora is dominated by Gondwanan plants, comprising historically of forests, most famously the giant kauri. New Zealand has developed a national Biodiversity Action Plan to address conservation of considerable numbers of threatened flora and fauna within New Zealand. For other meanings of Pacific, see Pacific (disambiguation). ... The Mergui Archipelago An archipelago is a landform which consists of a chain or cluster of islands. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Pangaea was formed by the merging of two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana East African and Kuungan Orogens 550 Ma reconstruction showing final stages of assembly The southern supercontinent Gondwana (originally Gondwanaland) included most of the landmasses which make up todays continents of the southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America... Bridge across the Álfagjá rift valley in southwest Iceland, the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. ... In astronomy, geology, and paleontology, mya is an acronym for million years ago and is used as a unit of time to denote length of time before the present. ... Lord Howe Island showing Mts Lidgbird and Gower. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity or biological diversity is the diversity of life. ... In biology and ecology endemic means exclusively native to a place or biota, in contrast to cosmopolitan or introduced. ... In Botany a Flora (or Floræ) is a collective term for plant life and can also refer to a descriptive catalogue of the plants of any geographical area, geological period, etc. ... Fauna is a collective term for animal life. ... Orders Multituberculata (extinct) Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Australosphenida Ausktribosphenida Monotremata Subclass Eutheria (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Anagaloidea (extinct) Arctostylopida (extinct) Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Cingulata Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Dinocerata (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Leptictida (extinct) Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata... Suborders Megachiroptera Microchiroptera See text for families. ... Classes & Orders See taxonomy Insects are invertebrate animals of the Class Insecta, the largest and (on land) most widely-distributed taxon within the phylum Arthropoda. ... Orders Many - see section below. ... Eucalyptus Forest at Swifts Creek in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. ... Binomial name Agathis australis (D. Don) Loudon The Kauri (Agathis australis) is a coniferous tree native to the northern North Island of New Zealand. ... Diademed Sifaka, an endangered primate of Madagascar Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a an internationally recognized programme addressing threatened species or habitats, which is designed to protect and restore biological systems. ...

Contents

Evolution of New Zealand's biodiversity

The break up of the supercontinent of Gondwana left the resulting continents and microcontinents with shared biological affinities. New Zealand, along with New Caledonia began to move away from Antarctic Gondwana 100 MYA, the break being complete by 82 MYA. It has been moving northwards since then, changing both in relief and climate. At some points it has been mostly underwater, with as little as 18% of the present surface area being above the water. Of the original biodiversity that it carried with it from Gondwana several groups remain: most predominantly plants, such as the podocarps and the Southern beeches, but also a distinctive insect fauna, New Zealand's unusual frogs and the tuatara, as well as some of New Zealand's birds. In geology, a supercontinent is a land mass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. ... Greek ἀνταρκτικός, opposite the arctic) is a continent surrounding the Earths South Pole. ... Genera Acmopyle Afrocarpus Dacrycarpus Dacrydium Falcatifolium Halocarpus Lagarostrobos Lepidothamnus Manoao Microcachrys Microstrobos Nageia Parasitaxus Phyllocladus Podocarpus Prumnopitys Retrophyllum Saxegothaea Sundacarpus A large family of mainly Southern Hemisphere conifers, with 18-19 genera and about 170-200 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. ... Species   Nothofagus alpina - Rauli Beech   Nothofagus antarctica - Antarctic Beech   Nothofagus betuloides - Magallanes Beech   Nothofagus cunninghamii - Myrtle Beech   Nothofagus dombeyi - Coigüe Beech   Nothofagus fusca - Red Beech   Nothofagus gunnii - Tanglefoot Beech   Nothofagus menziesii - Silver Beech   Nothofagus moorei - Negrohead Beech   Nothofagus obliqua - Roble Beech   Nothofagus pumilio - Lenga Beech   Nothofagus solanderi - Black Beech... Classes & Orders See taxonomy Insects are invertebrate animals of the Class Insecta, the largest and (on land) most widely-distributed taxon within the phylum Arthropoda. ... Species Sphenodon punctatus (Gray, 1842) Sphenodon guntheri Buller, 1877 Sphenodon diversum (extinct) The tuatara is a reptile of the family Sphenodontidae, endemic to New Zealand. ...


The two sources of New Zealand's biodiversity following separation from Gondwana have been speciation and air- or sea-borne immigration. Most of these immigrants have arrived from Australia, and have provided the majority of New Zealand's birds, bats and some plant species (carried on the wind or inside the guts of birds). Some of these immigrants arrived long enough ago that their affinities to their Australian ancestors are uncertain; for example, the affinities of the unusual Short-tailed Bat were unknown until fossils from the Miocene were found in Australia. It has been suggested that the unusual adzebills is related to the Kagu of New Caledonia. The link between the two island groups also includes affinities between skink and gecko families. Charles Darwins first sketch of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) Speciation is the theory of the evolutionary process by which new biological species are believed by some to arise. ... Orders Many - see section below. ... Suborders Megachiroptera Microchiroptera See text for families. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta - rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta - zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta - trimerophytes Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta... Species (believed extinct) The New Zealand short-tailed bats are the Mystacinidae family of bats. ... An ammonite fossil Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally having been dug up) are the mineralized or otherwise preserved remains or traces (such as footprints) of animals, plants, and other organisms. ... The Miocene epoch is a period of time that extends from about 23 to 5. ... Species Aptornis otidiformis Aptornis defossor The adzebills (genus Aptornis) were two closely related bird species, the North Island Adzebill (Aptornis otidiformis Owen 1844) and the South Island Adzebill (Aptornis defossor Owen 1871) of the extinct family Aptornithidae (Mantell 1848). ... Binomial name Rhynochetos jubatus Verreaux & DesMurs, 1860 The Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) is a long-legged greyish bird found in the dense mountain forests of New Caledonia. ... Genera many—see text Skinks are the most diverse group of lizards. ... Subfamilies Aeluroscalabotinae Eublepharinae Gekkoninae Teratoscincinae Diplodactylinae Geckos are small to moderately large lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae which are found in warm climates throughout the world. ...


Elements of New Zealand's Biodiversity

Floral biodiversity

The kauri of North Island were the tallest trees in New Zealand, but were extensively logged and are much less common today.
The kauri of North Island were the tallest trees in New Zealand, but were extensively logged and are much less common today.

The history, climate and geology of New Zealand has created a great deal of diversity in New Zealand's vegetation types. The main two types of forest have been dominated by podocarps and southern beech. Podocarps (Podocarpaceae), an ancient evergreen gymnosperm family of trees, have changed little in the last 190 million years. Forests dominated by podocarps form a closed canopy with an understory of hardwoods and shrubs. The forests of southern beeches, from the genus Nothofagus, comprise a less diverse habitat, with the beeches of four species dominating the canopy and allowing a single understory. In the north of New Zealand the podocarp forests were dominated by the ancient giant kauri. These trees are amongst the largest in the world, holding the record for the greatest timber volume of any tree. The value of this was not lost on early European settlers, and most of these trees were felled. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1350x3374, 1749 KB) Kauri tree Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest) at Waipoua Forest (Northland, New Zealand). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1350x3374, 1749 KB) Kauri tree Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest) at Waipoua Forest (Northland, New Zealand). ... Genera Acmopyle Afrocarpus Dacrycarpus Dacrydium Falcatifolium Halocarpus Lagarostrobos Lepidothamnus Manoao Microcachrys Microstrobos Nageia Parasitaxus Phyllocladus Podocarpus Prumnopitys Retrophyllum Saxegothaea Sundacarpus A large family of mainly Southern Hemisphere conifers, with 18-19 genera and about 170-200 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. ... Species   Nothofagus alpina - Rauli Beech   Nothofagus antarctica - Antarctic Beech   Nothofagus betuloides - Magallanes Beech   Nothofagus cunninghamii - Myrtle Beech   Nothofagus dombeyi - Coigüe Beech   Nothofagus fusca - Red Beech   Nothofagus gunnii - Tanglefoot Beech   Nothofagus menziesii - Silver Beech   Nothofagus moorei - Negrohead Beech   Nothofagus obliqua - Roble Beech   Nothofagus pumilio - Lenga Beech   Nothofagus solanderi - Black Beech... A Silver Fir shoot showing three successive years of retained leaves In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant which retains its leaves year-round, with each leaf persisting for more than 12 months. ... Coast Douglas-fir cone This article lacks an appropriate Taxobox You can help Wikipedia by adding one. ... Beech is a typical temperate zone hardwood The term hardwood designates wood from angiosperm trees. ... Binomial name Agathis australis (D. Don) Loudon The Kauri (Agathis australis) is a coniferous tree native to the northern North Island of New Zealand. ... World map showing Europe Political map (neighbouring countries in Asia and Africa also shown) Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ...


The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grassland of grass and tussock, usually associated with the subalpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests. These shrublands are dominated by daisies, which can become woody and 3m high. Tussocks, Nassella Tussock may refer to a clump of a grass or the tuft of hairs on certain moths. ... Daisy may mean: Wiktionary has related dictionary definitions, such as: daisy Flowering plants Daisy family, a general name for all species in the family Asteraceae. ...


Faunal diversity

No mammals, other than bats and marine mammals, reached New Zealand before humans did. The Short-tailed Bat (from the monotypic family Mystacinidae), having arrived in the late Oligocene, has had plenty of time to evolve, and has begun to fill the role of a small terrestrial mammal, flying out from roosts at night but frequently foraging on the ground. Some plants have evolved with the bats and are fertilised on the ground by the bats. The Long-tailed Bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) is relatively common. A marine mammal is a mammal that is primarily ocean-dwelling or depends on the ocean for its food. ... Species (believed extinct) The New Zealand short-tailed bats are the Mystacinidae family of bats. ... The Oligocene epoch is a geologic period of time that extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present. ... A phylogenetic tree of all extant organisms, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence data, showing the evolutionary history of the three domains of life, bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. ... Species Chalinolobus alboguttatus(Allens Striped Bat) Chalinolobus argentatus(Silvered Bat) Chalinolobus beatrix(Beatrixs bat) Chalinolobus dwyeri(Large-eared Pied Bat) Chalinolobus egeria(Bibundi Bat) Chalinolobus gleni(Glens Wattled Bat) Chalinolobus gouldii(Goulds Wattled Bat) Chalinolobus kenyacola(Kenyan Wattled Bat) Chalinolobus morio(Chocolate Wattled Bat) Chalinolobus neocaledonicus...


Birds comprise the most important part of New Zealand's vertebrate fauna. It is uncertain if many birds in New Zealand are descended from Gondwanan stock, as DNA evidence suggests that even the ratites (the kiwis and the moa) arrived after the split from Antarctica. Recent studies suggest that New Zealand wrens are Gondwanan descendants. DNA studies seem to indicate that the wrens are the most ancient of all passerines, splitting from the ancestral passerine stock at the time New Zealand become an isolated land mass. In the absence of mammals, birds diversified into the niches usually filled by mammals in other ecosystems. Classes and Clades See below Vertebrata is a subphylum of chordates, specifically, those with backbones or spinal columns. ... The general structure of a section of DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the biological development of a cellular form of life or a virus. ... Families Struthionidae Casuariidae Dinornithidae Apterygidae Rheidae A ratite is any of a diverse group of large, flightless birds of Gondwanian origin, most of them now extinct. ... Species A kiwi is any of the species of small flightless birds endemic to New Zealand of the genus Apteryx (the only genus in family Apterygidae). ... Genera Anomalopteryx (bush moa) Euryapteryx Megalapteryx (upland moa) Dinornis (giant moa) Emeus Pachyornis Moa were giant flightless birds native to New Zealand. ... Genera Acanthisitta Rifleman Xenicus Pachyplichas (extinct) Dendroscansor (extinct) The New Zealand wrens, family Acanthisittidae, are tiny passerines restricted to New Zealand. ... Families Many, see text A passerine is a bird of the giant order Passeriformes. ... In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ...

The extinct Huia was a member of the endemic family Callaeidae.
The extinct Huia was a member of the endemic family Callaeidae.

The Moa, of which there were 10 species, were large browsers, which were in turn the prey species of a giant eagle, the Harpagornis or Haast's Eagle. Both moa and eagles became extinct shortly after the arrival of humans on New Zealand sometime around 1300 CE. It appears that human hunters exterminated the moa populations, which deprived the Harpagornis of their primary food source, leading to the extinction of that species, as well. New Zealand's emblematic kiwi fills the role of a small forager of the leaf-litter, and the enigmatic adzebill was a universal omnivore. The wattlebirds, Callaeidae, are a family endemic to New Zealand, but many other New Zealand birds show clear affinities to Australia, including the New Zealand Pigeon, the New Zealand Falcon, as well as various parrots, rails, waders, owls, and seabirds, albeit often with a New Zealand twist. Of the 245 species of birds from the greater New Zealand (the main islands along with the offshore islands, also including Norfolk Island), 174 were endemic, roughly 71%. Of these, about 32% of the genera were endemic. Image File history File links Subject : Huia Author : J. G. Keulemans. ... Image File history File links Subject : Huia Author : J. G. Keulemans. ... Genera Anomalopteryx (bush moa) Euryapteryx Megalapteryx (upland moa) Dinornis (giant moa) Emeus Pachyornis Moa were giant flightless birds native to New Zealand. ... // This article is about the bird. ... Binomial name Harpagornis moorei Haast, 1872 The Harpagornis or Haasts eagle was a massive New Zealand eagle and the largest bird of prey known to have lived. ... Species A kiwi is any of the species of small flightless birds endemic to New Zealand of the genus Apteryx (the only genus in family Apterygidae). ... Species Aptornis otidiformis Aptornis defossor The adzebills (genus Aptornis) were two closely related bird species, the North Island Adzebill (Aptornis otidiformis Owen 1844) and the South Island Adzebill (Aptornis defossor Owen 1871) of the extinct family Aptornithidae (Mantell 1848). ... Genera  Callaeas  Philesturnus  Heteralocha The small bird family Callaeidae is restricted to New Zealand. ... Binomial name Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1789) The kererÅ« or New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaseelandiae (Gmelin)) is a bird endemic to New Zealand. ... Binomial name Falco novaeseelandiae Gmelin, 1788 The Karearea, or New Zealand Falcon, Falco novaeseelandiae, is the Maori name for the New Zealand native falcon which is sometimes erroneously referred to as a sparrowhawk. ... Families Cacatuidae Psittacidae Parrots or Psittacines (order Psittaciformes) includes about 353 species of bird which are generally grouped into two families: the Cacatuidae or cockatoos, and the Psittacidae or true parrots. ... Genera Sarothrura Himantornis Canirallus Coturnicops Micropygia Rallina Anurolimnas Laterallus Nesoclopeus Gallirallus Rallus Lewinia Dryolimnas Crex Rougetius Aramidopsis Atlantisia Aramides Amaurolimnas Gymnocrex Amaurornis Porzana Aenigmatolimnas Cyanolimnas Neocrex Pardirallus Eulabeornis Habroptila Megacrex Gallicrex Porphyrio Gallinula Fulica The family Rallidae is a large group of small to medium-sized birds which includes the... Families Charadridae Jacanidae Rostratulidae Ibidorhynchidae Recurvirostridae Haematopodidae Scolopacidae Dromadidae Burhinidae Glareolidae Thinocoridae Waders, called Shorebirds in North America (where wader is used to refer to long-legged wading birds such as storks and herons), are members of the order Charadriiformes, excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. ... Families Strigidae Tytonidae An owl is a member of any of about 220 (222 currently known) species of solitary, mainly nocturnal birds of prey in the order Strigiformes. ... Seabirds are birds that spend much of their lives, outside the breeding season at least, at sea. ... In biology, a genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic grouping. ...

The tuatara is a unique component of New Zealand's biodiversity and the only surviving species in the order Sphenodontia.
The tuatara is a unique component of New Zealand's biodiversity and the only surviving species in the order Sphenodontia.

No agamas, iguanas, land turtles or snakes are recored from New Zealand. The fossil record shows one crocodile, possibly a mekosuchine crocodile, in the Miocene, but otherwise the only reptiles to reach New Zealand were skinks and geckos, along with the living fossil, the tuatara. The tuatara, reaching 60 cm, are New Zealand's largest reptile. Frogs, which because of their intolerance for saltwater are assumed to have descended from ancestors that broke off from Gondwana, are one of the few exceptions to the rule that amphibians are never found on oceanic islands (another being the frogs of Fiji). New Zealand's few wholly freshwater fishes are derived from diadromous species. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1088x816, 191 KB){{GFDL} An adult tuatara, as photographed at the Willowbank wildlife reserve in Christchurch, New Zealand. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1088x816, 191 KB){{GFDL} An adult tuatara, as photographed at the Willowbank wildlife reserve in Christchurch, New Zealand. ... For the Buddhist texts called the Agamas, see Nikaya. ... Species Lesser Antillean Iguana, Green Iguana, Although iguana can refer to other members of the lizard family Iguanidae, this article concerns members of the genus Iguana. ... Suborders Cryptodira Pleurodira See text for families. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Fossil. ... Genera Australosuchus Baru Kambara Mekosuchus Pallimnarchus Quinkana Triphosuchus A Mekosuchine crocodiles are an extinct group of crocodiles from Australia and the South Pacific. ... The Miocene epoch is a period of time that extends from about 23 to 5. ... Orders Procolophonia (extinct) Testudines Araeoscelidia (extinct) Avicephala (extinct) Younginiformes (extinct) Sauropterygia Ichthyosauria (extinct) Placodontia (extinct) Nothosauria (extinct) Plesiosauria (extinct) Sphenodontia Squamata Prolacertiformes (extinct) Archosauria Crurotarsi Order Aetosauria Order Phytosauria Order Rauisuchia Order Crocodilia Ornithodira Pterosauria (extinct) Marasuchus (extinct) Dinosauria (extinct) Order Saurischia Order Ornithischia Reptiles are tetrapods and amniotes, animals... Genera many—see text Skinks are the most diverse group of lizards. ... Subfamilies Aeluroscalabotinae Eublepharinae Gekkoninae Teratoscincinae Diplodactylinae Geckos are small to moderately large lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae which are found in warm climates throughout the world. ... Living fossil is a term for any living species (or clade) of organism which closely resembles species otherwise only known from fossils and has no close living relatives. ... Species Sphenodon punctatus (Gray, 1842) Sphenodon guntheri Buller, 1877 Sphenodon diversum (extinct) The tuatara is a reptile of the family Sphenodontidae, endemic to New Zealand. ... Distribution of frogs (in black) Suborders Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia - List of Anuran families The frog is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning tail-less from Greek an-, without + oura, tail). ... For information on water from a sea or ocean, see sea water. ...


New Zealand's invertebrate community displays strong Gondwanan affinities, and has also diversified strongly, if unevenly. There are over a thousand species of snail, and many species of insect have become large and in many cases flightless, especially grasshoppers and beetles. There are, however, less than 12 species of ant. The most famous of New Zealand's insects, the wetas, are ground-living relatives of the crickets that often reach enormous proportions. The name snail applies to most members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells. ... For other uses, see Grasshopper (disambiguation). ... Suborders Adephaga Archostemata Myxophaga Polyphaga See subgroups of the order Coleoptera Wikispecies has information related to: Coleoptera Beetles are the most diverse group of insects. ... Subfamilies Aenictinae Aenictogitoninae Aneuretinae Apomyrminae Cerapachyinae Dolichoderinae Dorylinae Ecitoninae Formicinae Leptanillinae Leptanilloidinae Myrmeciinae Myrmicinae Nothomyrmeciinae Ponerinae Pseudomyrmecinae Diagram of a worker ant (Pachycondyla verenae). ... The weta family comprises around 70 insect species endemic to the New Zealand archipelago. ... For the insect, see Cricket (insect). ...


Endemism

New Zealand has a high number of endemic species:

  • 80% of all vascular plants
  • 70% of all native terrestrial and freshwater birds
  • All bats
  • All native amphibians
  • All reptiles
  • 90% of freshwater fish

Of New Zealand's estimated 20,000 fungi species, only about 4,500 are known. New Zealand also has an endemic cetacean, the Hector's dolphin. Some orders and families are completely endemic to New Zealand. Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti Archaeoceti (extinct) (see text for families) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Binomial name Cephalorhynchus hectori Van Beneden, 1881 Hectors Dolphin range Hectors Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) is the most well-known of the four dolphins in the genus Cephalorhynchus. ...


New Zealand's biodiversity and humans

The Common Brushtail Possum is one of the 33 mammals introduced to New Zealand by humans.
The Common Brushtail Possum is one of the 33 mammals introduced to New Zealand by humans.

The arrival of humans in New Zealand has presented a challenge for the native species that has caused the extinction of many species. This due predominantly to the species of New Zealand having evolved in the absence of mammalian predators, be they human or otherwise (a situation known as ecological naivety), since they have never evolved or have lost the responses needed to deal with the threats. As humans arrived they brought with them, intentionally or otherwise, a host of other attendant species, starting with the Polynesian Rat, but now including stoats, weasels, Black Rats, Norway Rats, Brushtailed Possums, feral cats and dogs, as well as herbivores such as deer and tahr (a wild goat species from the Himalayas), which detrimentally affect native vegetation. Image File history File linksMetadata Brushtail_possum. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Brushtail_possum. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of taxa. ... The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a biocentric view. ... Binomial name Rattus exulans (Peale, 1848) The Polynesian Rat or Pacific Rat (Rattus exulans), known to the Maori as Kiore, is the third most widespread species of rat in the world behind the Brown Rat and Black Rat. ... Binomial name Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758 The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel or the wild otter, is a small mammal of the family Mustelidae. ... Species Mustela africana Mustela altaica Mustela erminea Mustela eversmannii Mustela felipei Mustela frenata Mustela kathiah Mustela lutreola Mustela lutreolina Mustela nigripes Mustela nivalis Mustela nudipes Mustela putorius Mustela sibirica Mustela strigidorsa Mustela vison Weasels are mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. ... Binomial name Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758) The Black Rat (Rattus rattus, also known as the Asian Black Rat, Ship Rat, Roof Rat or House Rat) is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus (Old World rodents) and the subfamily murinae (Murine rodents). ... Binomial name Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769) The Brown Rat or Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is one of the most well-known and common rats, and also one of the largest. ... Binomial name Trichosurus vulpecula (Kerr, 1792) The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the largest possum, and the Australian marsupial most often seen by city-dwellers, since it is one the very few that thrives in cities as well as a wide range of natural and human-modified environments. ... Rescued feral kittens Most feral kittens have little chance of surving more than a few months and are vulnerable to starvation, predators, disease and even flea-induced anemia. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog is a mammal in the order Carnivora. ... Subfamilies Capreolinae Cervinae Hydropotinae Muntiacinae A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. ... The tahr, genus Hemitragus, is the common name for three species of mountain-dwelling Asian goat-antelopes. ... Perspective view of the Himalaya and Mount Everest as seen from space looking south-south-east from over the Tibetan Plateau. ...


The date of the first arrival of the Māori in New Zealand is given as around 1300 AD, but some recent evidence suggests that some Polynesian travellers arrived earlier, as Polynesian Rats seemed to have arrived in 500 AD. Their arrival set off a first wave of extinctions, eliminating smaller defenseless ground nesting birds. A second wave of extinctions was triggered by the arrival of the Māori, who hunted many of the larger species, such as the moa, adzebill and several large ducks, for food. The Harpagornis presumably went extinct because of the loss of its food source. A third wave of extinction began with the arrival of European settlers, who brought with them numerous new mammal species, particularly the predatory domestic cat, and initiated more habitat modification. In all, over 50% of New Zealand's bird species are considered extinct, along with a species of bat and several frogs, a freshwater fish (the New Zealand grayling, Prototroctes oxyrhynchus), skinks and geckos; this is second only to Hawaii in terms of proportion of species lost. The word Māori refers to the indigenous people of New Zealand and to their language. ... Carving from the ridgepole of a Māori house, ca 1840 This article is about the wider region in the Pacific. ... World map showing Europe Political map (neighbouring countries in Asia and Africa also shown) Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ... Trinomial name Felis silvestris catus (Linnaeus, 1758) The cat (or domestic cat, house cat) is a small carnivorous mammal and a subspecies of the wild cat. ... The Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species in the world. ... This article is becoming very long. ...

The Silvereye is one of several species of birds that have introduced themselves to New Zealand in the wake of humans.
The Silvereye is one of several species of birds that have introduced themselves to New Zealand in the wake of humans.

One interesting phenomenon following the extinction of New Zealand's native fauna is the natural colonisation that has occurred from Australia since the arrival of humans. In the case of the Silvereye, which colonised New Zealand in the 19th century, there was never a relative of the invader in New Zealand's original fauna, and they are restricted to newer man made niches. In the case of the Black Swan, (which was originally thought to have been introduced but is now suspected to have self introduced itself as well) it was the re-occupation of part of its former range (the extinct New Zealand Swan is now believed to be a subspecies of the Black Swan). The arrival of the Pukeko and the Swamp Harrier is more interesting, as they mirror the arrival of the same two species in the past, before they evolved into the Takahe and the Eyles's Harrier. Once these specialised birds declined and (in the case of the harrier) went extinct their niches were available and colonisation could occur again. Image File history File links Silvereye3. ... Image File history File links Silvereye3. ... Binomial name Zosterops lateralis (Latham, 1802) The Silvereye, White-eye or Wax-eye (Zosterops lateralis) is a very small passerine bird native to Australia but also found in New Zealand. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... Binomial name Cygnus atratus Latham, 1790 Subspecies Black Swan New Zealand Swan (extinct) Synonyms Anas atrata Latham, 1790 Chenopis atratus The Black Swan, Cygnus atratus is a large non-migratory waterbird which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest of Australia. ... Binomial name Cygnus sumnerensis (Forbes, 1890) The New Zealand Swan (Cygnus sumnerensis) is an extinct bird from the Chatham Islands and the South Island of New Zealand. ... Binomial name Porphyrio porphyrio (Linnaeus, 1758) The Purple Swamphen, Purple Gallinule or Pukeko, Porphyrio porphyrio, is a large bird in the family Rallidae. ... Binomial name Circus aeruginosus (Linnaeus, 1758) Circus spilonotus Kaup, 1847 Circus approximans Peale, 1848 The Marsh Harriers are birds of prey of the harrier subfamily. ... Binomial name Porphyrio mantelli Owen, 1848 The TakahÄ“, Porphyrio mantelli is a flightless bird native to New Zealand which belongs to the rail family. ...


Today New Zealand's species are amongst the most threatened in the world. The New Zealand government, through the Department of Conservation, works aggressively to protect what remains of New Zealand's biological heritage. It has pioneered the use of offshore reserves, cleared of introduced species, as safe places for New Zealand's threatened species. The Department of Conservation (In Māori, Te Papa Atawhai), commonly known by its acronym, DOC, is the state sector organisation of New Zealand which deals with the conservation of New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. ...


See also

This is a list of extinct New Zealand animals. ... New Zealands short human history has resulted in a number of serious plant and animal pests. ... Landcare Research, or Manaaki Whenua in the Maori language, is a Crown Research Institute of New Zealand. ... An Ecological Island is an area of land, isolated by natural or artificial means from the surrounding land, where: all non-native species (at least predator species) have been eradicated, native species are reintroduced and nurtured, the natural or artificial border is maintained to prevent reintroduction of non-native species. ...

References

  • Worthy, Trevor H., & Holdaway, Richard N. (2002) The Lost World of the Moa, Indiana University Press:Bloomington, ISBN 0-253-34034-9
  • Ericson P, Christidis L, Cooper, A, Irestedt M, Jackson J, Johansson US, Norman JA., A Gondwanan origin of passerine birds supported by DNA sequences of the endemic New Zealand wrens. Proc Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 7;269(1488):235-41.

For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ...

External link

  • New Zealand Biodiversity - Government web site.

 
 

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