Mar 172018
Why Is New Zealand Releasing a Rabbit-Killing Virus?

Wild rabbits are considered pests in New Zealand, and they reportedly cause substantial damage to pastoral land. The country has now decided to release a virus to cull rabbits, but environmentalists warn that this is a serious mistake. In late February, officials agreed to release the virus — known as rabbit hemorrhagic virus disease, or […]

Feb 092018
Beak fitness: New Zealand develops roadside gym for endangered keas

Bird experts in New Zealand have designed a special gym for the country’s playful alpine parrot to keep them away from some of the nation’s most dangerous roads. For the last couple of years contractors working on the road to Milford Sound in the South Island have captured footage of keas moving their road cones […]

Mar 252017
The hunt for the world's only alpine (and carnivorous) parrot

You need to be sneaky if you want to catch a Kea in the wild. Kimberley Collins (Forest & Bird, BirdLife in New Zealand) goes searching for the world’s only alpine parrot in Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand. As I looked up at the 1300m peak looming over me, I instantly regretted not preparing […]

Sep 292016
New Zealand kea, the world's only alpine parrot, faces extinction

The world’s only alpine parrot is at threat of extinction in New Zealand as numbers plummet in the face of threats from non-native predators and human development. The kea is the world’s only mountain-dwelling parrot and also one of the most intelligent species of bird known for their playfulness and novelty-seeking nature. The birds, which […]

Aug 052016
POLL: Should invasive animal predators be wiped out?

For the first time in history, New Zealand has announced an ambitious initiative to eliminate rats, stoats, and possums from the country by 2050, in an effort to rid the country of an ecological scourge ravaging its native wildlife. “New Zealand’s unique native creatures and plants are central to our national identity,” said New Zealand […]

Aug 282015
Rare New Zealand birds killed accidentally as cull goes wrong

In a tragic case of mistaken identity, four critically endangered takahē birds have been accidentally killed in New Zealand after hunters misidentified the animals as a more common species. The mixup occurred at a sanctuary on Motutapu Island, where volunteers from the Deerstalkers Association, a national body representing hunters, were participating in a regulated cull […]

May 132015
What Animals Are Likely to Go Extinct First Due to Climate Change

One in six species could disappear as the climate warms over the next century, with animals and plants in South America particularly hard hit while those in North America would face the lowest risk, according to a major new analysis published Thursday. With naturally small populations of native species in its tropical rainforests and mountains, […]

Apr 292015
Conservationists turn tiny New Zealand island into bold wildlife experiment

Rotoroa Island, off the coast of New Zealand is tiny, at just 82 hectares (200 acres), but don’t let its diminutiveness fool you: big things are happening here. Over the past few years the island has become the site of a quiet, but grand, conservation experiment. What would happen if you populated an island with […]

Apr 282015
High as a Hihi: Rare New Zealand Birds Trip Out on Unknown Fungus

How does a hihi get high? It feasts on a forbidden, mind-altering fungus, that’s how. The hihi, in case you don’t know, is a small, quirky bird native to New Zealand that usually likes to dine on fruits, nectar and the occasional insect. But a group of the rare birds at a wildlife sanctuary in […]

Feb 152015
Video: Nearly 200 Whales Stranded on New Zealand Beach

Rescuers and volunteers were scrambling on Friday to save nearly 200 pilot whales that were stranded on New Zealand’s South Island. At least two dozen of the whales were reported dead, and more than 80 people descended on the beach near the shallow waters of Farewell Spit to begin the difficult task of moving survivors […]

May 282014
Why Fly? Flightless Bird Mystery Solved, Say Evolutionary Scientists

Large flightless birds are scattered across all but one of the world’s southern continents. Since Darwin’s era, people have wondered: How are they related? Ostriches, emus, cassowaries, rheas, and kiwis can’t fly. Unlike most birds, their flat breastbones lack the keel that anchors the strong pectoral muscles required for flight. Their puny wings can’t possibly […]

Dec 132013
A “Death Sentence” For the Tiniest Dolphins in the World

At just 1.2 to 1.4 meters long and about 110 pounds, Maui’s dolphin is the smallest in the world. It is also found only on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island — and it is critically endangered. A 2012 survey commissioned by the New Zealand government’s Department of Conservation found that there were only […]

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