7 fun facts about New Zealand’s flora and fauna
We all know that New Zealand’s flora and fauna is something truly unique, but do you know just how special our landscapes, animals, birds, and plants are?
There is an endless number of incredible facts about our country’s nature, and while we always make a point of sharing a few fun snippets during our eco tours from Auckland, here are a few more you can impress your friends with today.
1. 20 per cent of New Zealand is comprised of national parks, forest areas, and reserves
There are 14 national parks around New Zealand, which together cover more than 30,000 square kilometres of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The largest is the Fiordland National Park in the South Island, which is known for its majestic Milford Sound.
Additionally, there are 34 marine reserves around the country, which means that no fishing or gathering is allowed to ensure that nature thrives.
2. The Kea is one of the smartest birds in the world
The Kea was New Zealand’s Bird of the Year in 2017, and it’s also one of the most clever birds on the planet. There are just 3,000-7,000 birds left in the world, and each one of them is surprisingly smart (and cheeky!). Not to mention, the Kea is the world’s only species of alpine parrot.
3. 80 per cent of New Zealand’s flora is endemic
Thanks to New Zealand’s isolation – and the fact that it has been geographically isolated for so long – means that the grand majority of our plantlife is endemic, which means it is only found in New Zealand.
Even more incredible is the fact that 10-15 per cent of New Zealand’s land is covered by these endemic species!
4. There are almost zero mammals native to New Zealand
In most countries around the world, mammals are noticeably dominant. In New Zealand, however, just two surviving bat species are all we have in terms of native mammals.
5. Kiwis can live for more than 30 years
Many of New Zealand’s animals are known for their longevity. Our national icon, the kiwi, can live for more than 30 years, and the kakapo can live to be 70!
6. New Zealand has roughly 200 fern species
New Zealand is home to an unusually high number of fern species – 200 or so – and as much as 40 per cent of them are endemic.
7. The Kauri tree lives for more than 2,000 years
The Kauri tree is one of the most impressive on the planet. They can grow to 16 metres in girth and 50 metres in height, and once were so common they could be found all over New Zealand. Today, they are threatened by the Kauri dieback disease, but with proper care and conservation techniques, we should be able to continue visiting these forest giants during our nature tours for years to come.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist