New Zealand Nature
If you isolate a country for 80 million years you end up with an unusual and unique flora and fauna. That’s what happened to New Zealand and nowadays our curious collection of birds, sea mammals, fish, reptiles and plants is one of the major attractions for visitors to our national parks and wilderness areas. Prior to the arrival of humans some time before 1300AD, about 80% of New Zealand was forested.
Today, about 23% remains, much of which is included within our 14 national parks. In total, about 30% of our land area is under public ownership and protected to some degree. In addition, there are 32 marine parks located around the country. These areas provide ample opportunity for the adventurous and keen-eyed amongst us to experience some of the world’s most interesting and endangered species.
New Zealand Birds
In its isolation, New Zealand amazingly developed a unique ecosystem with no native land mammals! This led to the country housing a variety of birds, many fulfilling evolutionary niches normally occupied by mammals, and with no fear of predation, many lived and nested on the ground, with several flightless species. You can read more in our pages on birds of New Zealand.