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Posts Tagged "new zealand"

Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part II)

sea urchin image

We made five planned dives during our voyage, each one a day long. It is a long day for the sub team. It takes several hours to prepare the submersible for the dive, and after seven to eight hours on the seafloor, another round of work is needed to prepare the sub for its next [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part I)

Shinkai 6500 submarine

The JAMSTEC research vessel RV Yokosuka sailed from Nuku’alofa in Tonga this morning, heading towards New Zealand to explore the animal life on deep undersea mountains, or seamounts. A team of 14 scientists from Japan and New Zealand, 41 ships officers and crew are on board. The Yokosuka is the mother ship for the human-operated [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Kakapo Baby Boom in New Zealand: First New Chicks in 3 Years [Video]

kakapo

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila), the critically endangered flightless parrots of New Zealand, have an unusual mating ritual. In the rare years when the birds breed, the males climb to the tops of hills, breathe in so deeply they swell up like balloons and then let out a series of deep, rhythmic booms that can be heard [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Egg Swap for Operatic New Zealand Birds a Success, but Invasive Predators Create Discord

kokako david cook sq

New Zealand used to be home to two subspecies of the rare birds known as kōkako (Callaeas cinereus). Today only one subspecies remains. The South Island kōkako was last seen in 1967 and was finally declared extinct six years ago. Conservationists are determined to save the remaining subspecies, which can still be found in the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Britain Tries (Again) to Re-Introduce Extinct Bees

short-haired bee

Long live the queens. A species of bumblebee that went extinct in its native Britain decades ago now has a second chance, as several short-haired bumblebees (Bombus subterraneus) were released June 3 in a restored habitat on the southeastern corner of England. This is the third phase in a multi-step effort to both bring back [...]

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Extinction Countdown

What Do Tigers and Kiwi Have in Common? The Answer Lies in Their Genes

bengal tiger

At first (and probably second) glance you wouldn’t think that tigers and kiwis have all that much in common. Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) live in India and the surrounding countries, where the predators can weigh more than 220 kilograms. Little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) live exclusively in New Zealand, where the flightless birds weigh [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Massacred Elephants, Found Frogs and Other Links from the Brink

Dzanga Bai elephants

Elephants, turtles, grizzly bears and some of the world’s rarest frogs are among the endangered species in the news this week. Worst News of the Week: Armed gunmen entered the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the violence-plagued Central African Republic this week and slaughtered at least 26 elephants. The site is known as the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tragedy in New Zealand: Dozens of Critically Endangered Birds Dead, Cause Unknown

shore plover

Efforts to save the critically endangered shore plover from extinction in New Zealand have suffered a major setback: nearly 60 of the birds have died due to unknown causes, reducing the world population of the species to just 200. Shore plovers (also known as shore dotterels or Tuturuatu, Thinornis novaeseelandiae) lived on both of New [...]

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Extinction Countdown

New Zealand Farmer Helps Save Rare Penguin from Extinction

white-flippered penguin

One of the world’s smallest penguins has nearly doubled the size of its population in the past decade and much of the credit is due to the farmer who owns the land where many of the penguins breed. White-flippered penguins (Eudyptula albosignata), also known as korora, are endemic to the Canterbury region of New Zealand, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Critically Endangered Parakeet Population Grows on Predator-Free Island Reserve

Malherbe's parakeet

Few people have ever seen a critically endangered Malherbe’s parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi) in the wild. Luis Ortiz-Catedral has not only seen more of the birds than just about anyone else, one of them has landed on his head. He has also witnessed something that almost no one else has ever seen among this species: mating. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Newly Discovered Cave Weta Species Endangered by Coal Mining

cave weta

If you have seen any of Peter Jackson’s movies, such as this week’s release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, then you have probably noticed the logo for the special effects company Weta Workshop, which works on most of the director’s New Zealand–based projects. The workshop is named after a bunch of endemic New Zealand [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing: Rarest Whale Seen for First Time in History, but Not at Sea

spade-toothed beaked whale

In another example of how little we know about the natural world, scientists recently got their first up-close glimpse at the rare and elusive spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii). Tragically, the discovery was not of living whales but a mother and her male calf that died after beaching themselves. Until now, the spade-toothed beaked whale [...]

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Running Ponies

Meet the Ten Most Endangered and Distinctive Birds in the World

christmas-island-frigate-bird-featurd.jpg

The world’s 100 most endangered and unique birds have been ranked in a newly published study, and the list includes a corpse-eater with legendary skills of decapitation, a shameless self-inflator, and the world’s heftiest parrot. Conducted by a team from Yale University, Simon Fraser University, and the Zoological Society of London, the study analyses where [...]

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Running Ponies

New Zealand’s Little Spotted Kiwi Birds are in More Trouble than We Thought

little spotted kiwi

Kiwi are flightless, nocturnal birds that are native to New Zealand. There are five recognised species of kiwi, and with 400 remaining individuals, the rarest is the critically endangered Rowi (Apteryx rowi) of New Zealand’s Okarito forest. The second rarest species is the little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii), which has been spread over several of [...]

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