We’re not sure if our far away readers know much about New Zealand.
We had some very cool visitors out our back window just the other day!
They are plump – it’s amazing that they can fly! As well as clumsy – they have been known to fall out of trees…*sigh* But they also have beautiful colouring and our Native to New Zealand! Take a look…
Cool aren’t they! Their proper name is Kereru, but are also known as New Zealand’s Native Wood Pigeon. They are not your average Pigeon, they are on a larger scale, which the wobbling branches in the video would suggest!
weighing in at: 300g/10 oz
Weighting in at: 700g/24 oz
- They are New Zealand only seed distributors. – if the Kereru become extinct so would our Native forests
- They love the fruit of a certain tree (we can’t remember the name of it), but it makes them drunk and they fall ut of trees!
A lot of New Zealand’s Native animals are birds, we also have many native amphibians and insects. We have one very special reptile and just one Native mammal!!!
The bird that everyone associates with NZ is this one…
- It looks nothing like your normal bird
- It can’t fly – it has tiny little wings.
- It carries the largest egg to any bird in proportion to its size
- It is nocturnal – coming out to forage for worms and insects at night
- There are many sub-species of Kiwi the Largest weighing in at about 2kg!
- It can’t fly – it’s to heavy
- Weighing anywhere between 2-4kg
- It’s a parrot
- Is critically endangered – in 2011 there are only 131 left!
- Mainly lives on the ground or low foliage.
- Is nocturnal
- The worlds heaviest parrot
- The world only flightless parrot
New Zealand also has many Native birds that can fly!
If you would like to hear a Tui’s call click here
New Zealand has many flightless birds, and they are all very endangered. Do you remember us telling you that we only have one native mammal? That native mammal is a fruit-eating bat! New Zealand’s wild-life has never had any natural predators, so it has been perfectly safe for them to get plump, slow and live on the ground with no way of escaping predators – they never had any for thousands of years. Then humans found New Zealand and brought with them their cats, rats, dogs, stoats and possums. our plump, slow and flightless birds are easy targets and they are now suffering and conservation workers through out New Zealand are working very hard to make sure these very special birds don’t become extinct! Click here to learn more about our Native Birds and Wildlife.
And last be not least, our very special reptile…
- Tuatara are rare, medium-sized reptiles (adults ranging from about 300g to 1000g) found only in New Zealand.
- They are the only living members of the Order Sphenodontia, there were many species in this order that lived during the age of the dinosaurs, some 200 million years ago. The Tuatara is the only living species in that Order today!
- They are of huge international interest to biologists and are also recognized internationally and within New Zealand as species in need of active conservation management.
- They can live over 100years!
Well we hope you enjoyed your lesson on Native New Zealand animals. We think we are very lucky to live here, in a country with such special animals, we are even lucky enough to not have some of the big scary diseases , parasites, bacteria and other scary things. We hope if you ever visit NEw Zealand or have visited before you understand why our customs and biosecurity procedures are so strict at the airport when you come in from another country!