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Today, invasive species pose the most serious threat to the flora and fauna of New Zealand's islands, but habitat destruction, through deforestation and wetland drainage, is also a key problem.

An archipelago lying some 2,000 kilometers southeast of Australia in the southern Pacific Ocean, the New Zealand hotspot covers 270,197 km² on three main islands (North Island, South Island and Stewart Island) and several smaller surrounding islands: the Chatham Islands, 800 km east of South Island, the Kermadec Islands to the north, and the Subantarctic Islands to the south (including the Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands, Campbell Island, Snares Islands, Auckland Islands, and Macquarie Island).

All four species of kiwi are also threatened: tokoeka (, VU).

A number of other species are highly threatened today, including the kakapo (, CR), a large, nocturnal, flightless parrot, which has suffered habitat destruction and extensive predation by introduced species like stoats and dogs.

Moreover, it is the only hotspot to have an endemic bird Order, represented by the endearing, flightless kiwis (), also the national bird of New Zealand.

Unfortunately, New Zealand's existing bird diversity represents only a fraction of the birds that once occupied the island.

Both New Zealand and New Caledonia split away from Gondwanaland at the same time and did not separate from each other until around 40 million years ago.

Both hotspots are "ancient life-rafts" which have been largely isolated and have evolved unique flora and fauna.

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