Like is the story with so many species, the great crested newt has suffered at the hands of habitat modification, primarily in the form of agricultural intensification. Due to this, their populations declined markedly during the latter part of the twentieth century. And, although they are currently widespread, there is cause for concern because populations are still being lost or damaged.
After an adventurous Malaysian jungle experience, we were back in the 4×4 heading out of the forest and soon bouncing our way down the dusty tracks surrounded by oil palm plantations. I had one more ask of our extremely patient guide and friend, Mr Lam. Several days earlier on the way into Endau Rompin National Park, we…
…Their most striking feature, their casque (the head ornament that looks like a second bill, or rhinoceros horn) is thought to have a similar function to that of hadrosaur’s head crest.
Tom and I spend the southern hemisphere’s summer in New Zealand, my home country, and the northern hemisphere’s summer in England, Tom’s home country. We follow the summer because it is also the ecology season when we get most work. The flight can be pretty long when you have to travel half-way around the globe, so…
The takahē’s story is quite amazing. Between 1849 and 1898, only four individuals were ever sighted… By the early 1900’s takahē were considered to be extinct.
Despite being known as one of the New Zealand wrens, of which it is one of only two surviving species, the Rifleman actually belongs to the ancient Acanthisittidae family. They are often called “wrens” due to similarities in appearance and behaviour to the true wrens of the family Troglodytidae.
The New Zealand giraffe weevil is endemic to our country, and is in fact our longest beetle. It is also the longest beetle in the world of its family.
…only 28 individuals have been identified and recorded up until 12th November 2014. I am not aware of any updates to the database, but know that additional animals have been found since. I can be sure of this as Emma and I with our wildlife-spotting friends, Sara and Ro, came across two presumably new individuals that night!
In January this year, Tom and I ventured down to the bottom of New Zealand for an ecology contract surveying Toheroa. We were there to count and measure these shellfish on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, in a effort to estimate the population and age distribution. They were an interesting species to work with considering their place…
We had been instructed by our knowledgeable friends that if we were to turn over a few stones we would be in luck. No word of a lie, a few stones later we had found our first Hochstetter’s.
To see this individual was remarkable. Not just because it is the only known bird to have ever landed on mainland New Zealand, but because, by chance, we managed to stumble onto its location before its seaward departure at sunrise.
The Muriwai gannet colony in one of three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand. The origin of the colony at Muriwai began on the island of Oaia, just off the coast where gannets first established nesting sites in the early 20th century.