Animals of New Zealand
As promised, here is the second batch of photos from our New Zealand vacation.
New Zealand has a unique wildlife. There are no native big mammals1), no native predators and no snakes or poisonous insects. This made it possible for some birds to give up flight completely and live in niches usually occupied by mammals. The Kiwi comes to mind which has, despite being a bird, several mammal like features: Its feathers are like fur, its body temperature is lower than that of birds and it even has whiskers.
Unfortunately, the settlers brought a lot of predators to the islands which caused havoc on the bird life in New Zealand. The New Zealand government is trying hard to get this pest under control. At least the possums seem to help them self by committing suicide on the State Highways2) .
We saw a lot of birds and other animals in the wild except the Kiwi. Spotting a brown, strictly nocturnal bird in the underbrushes is not an easy task . But we heard its sounds on a walk through a forest in the evening.
Speaking of the bird sounds – they are quite different to the ones you hear here in Europe. Here's a recording of an evening in the woods, sorry no Kiwi in this one.
Photos after the jump. More to come tomorrow.
If you can identify some of the birds, please let me know in the comments.