Animals in New Zealand
New Zealand has been insolated for a long period of time. As a result over 90 % of the insects, 25 % of the birds, all 60 reptiles, 4 species of remaining frogs and 2 of bats are found nowhere else on earth. Now I want to show you some native animals:
- The TUATARA: This unusual reptile lives on ilands off the coast of New Zealand. It sleeps in a burrow during the day and hunts at night. Tuatuaras have 3 eyes but the third tiny eye grows on the top of the head and it function is unsure. They eat insects, reptiles, worms and eggs and they can get 60 years old.
- The KIWI is a chicken-sized flightless bird and it´s the national symbol for New Zealand. It is named for its unusual call. It lives in forests, swamps, grasslands and farmlands. The Kiwi eats insects, worms and spiders by poking its long peak into the ground. It has no tail feathers but many fine feathers on the body which make it look almost furry. Now there are still 70 000 Kiwis in New Zealand but the Kiwi is in danger of dying out.
- The KAKAPO means “night parrot” in the Maori language and it is the heaviest and also the only flightless parrot in the world. It has green feathers and small wings to glide from trees and it eats only plants. In former days there were many kakapos but now there are fewer then 100 ones left.
- The MOA was a relative to the Australian Emu but it died out in the 17 th century. This huge bird lived on the South Island. The largest Moa was 3.5 metres high and the lowest was turkey-seized. Moa had long necks and legs but a small head. It died out because the Maori hunted and ate them.
- The only poisonous native animal is the KATIPO. It is a red-black spider and one of the deadliest spiders in the world. It is almost extinct (ausgestorben).
Since the arrival of the first humans fauna has been changing. One third of all land-based birds and 18 percent of the sea birds have become extinct and 1000 of the known animals are endangered. But there are 31 exotic animals like possums, wallabies, hedgehogs, stoats, rabbits, ferrets (Frettchen) and the black swan, of which 24 have become major pests. For example there are 70 million possums. While the number of the exotic animals increase, the native animals are diing out.