nzgeo

New Zealand Geographic

The magazine that celebrates our country in all its diversity: its people, places and wildlife. #nzgeo

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New Zealand’s 11 wilderness areas offer adventure, solitude and a glimpse of the world as it was. But what does the future hold for what one tramper termed our “hunting grounds for the imagination”?⠀ ⠀ 📷: Neil Silverwood⠀ ⠀ #nzgeo
Every summer, a plague of wasps gathers, ruining picnics, harassing trampers and disrupting ecosystems. Wasps outcompete bees for food, costing New Zealand about $130 million each year in loss of honey and pasture crops. Where wasps abound, biodiversity suffers: butterflies disappear, songbirds stop breeding and invertebrate communities are looted. But there’s hope on the horizon. Scientists are developing weapons, both biological and genetic, in a bid to cure the pestilence, once and for all.⠀ ⠀ 📷: George Novak⠀ ⠀ #wasp #nzgeo
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No one knew that Kaikōura was home to the world’s only alpine-dwelling seabird until an amateur ornithologist following a rumour discovered its burrows high in the mountains. As the bizarre attributes and tenuous existence of the Hutton’s shearwater slowly came to light, Kaikōura took up the mantle of protecting its local bird—just in time to witness the destruction of its breeding grounds in the November 2016 earthquake.⠀ ⠀ Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @depth.nz ⠀ ⠀ #nzgeo
A gannet arrives at its colony on Cape Kidnappers, a stub of land which marks the southern end of Hawke Bay. Gannets thrive here, but for the cape’s farmers and landowners, winning a living from this land has been a 150-year struggle.⠀ ⠀ 📸: @peter_james_quinn ⠀ ⠀ #nzgeo #gannet #birds
The Forgotten World Highway winds up Paparata Saddle before descending into Tangarakau Gorge, where the landscape changes from farmland to dense native bush. The five saddles between Taumarunui and Stratford proved a challenge for settlers, and mud often made the road impassable during winter.⠀ ⠀ 📷: @arnophotographer ⠀ ⠀ #nzgeo #forgottenworldhighway
Zebra finches exposed to the sound of traffic appear to age faster than those in quieter environments. In a study published in Frontiers in Zoology, birds were found to have shortened telomeres, which indicates accelerated ageing, if they were played recordings of street traffic once they had left the nest. The birds heard the noise from the age of 18 days until 120 days. But if birds were exposed to noises only while in the nest, their telomeres were of normal length. The authors suggest the birds are more sensitive to noise between 18 and 120 days of life—the time when they are learning song. 📷: Dennis Jarvis #nzgeo #funfact
“It’s very clear that this is a power struggle. It’s a hostile takeover, no doubt about it, and it all comes down to how much money we can raise.” Who has the right to excavate the wreck of the Endeavour? And where is it, anyway? Read more from our latest issue. Link in bio! 📷: Geoff Mason
“If this were any other site than the Endeavour, do you think they’d be trying to take it over? Nah. I know there’s competition between New Zealand and Australia, too. Australia has been our partner all these days and New Zealand, we pushed New Zealand about helping us a few years ago. But your government is not supporting us.” There’s a battle brewing over the remains of the Endeavour. Read more from our latest issue. Link in bio! 📷: Ray Parkin
Rhode Island has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state in the US—there’s even a German U-boat—while Narragansett Bay is home to the highest concentration of Revolutionary War wrecks. One of the them is Captain Cook’s Endeavour. Read more. Link in bio! 📷: National Library of Australia #nzgeo
What happened to the Endeavour after Captain James Cook’s world-changing voyage? Find out more. Link in bio!
One of the world’s great maritime mysteries is on the cusp of being solved. The Endeavour’s bones lie in American waters, awaiting final identification. But the only organisation permitted to investigate the ship—a volunteer marine archaeological group—is lacking funds for the next stage of work and rejecting offers of collaboration. What does the future hold for the Endeavour? Read more. Link in bio! 📷: Geoff Mason #nzgeo
Issue 155 is out now! One of the world’s great maritime mysteries is on the cusp of being solved. The Endeavour’s bones lie in American waters, awaiting final identification. Meanwhile, the only organisation permitted to investigate the ship—a volunteer marine archaeological group—is lacking funds for the next stage of work and rejecting offers of collaboration. What does the future hold for the Endeavour wreck? #nzgeo
“Most people thought the world’s birds were already well described and known, with maybe one or two new discoveries a year in the Amazon jungle or outback Indonesia. But actually, genetics is discovering far more diversity than was known about, and revealing relationships between species we’d never considered.” Link to story in bio! 📸: Neil Silverwood #nzgeo
Canterbury Museum has the world’s largest collection of moa bones. These are all from the same site, Pyramid Valley in north Canterbury—a natural moa cemetery. Discovered in 1938, the ancient swamp yielded a treasure-trove of 183 complete moa skeletons, trapped for centuries in the mire. The moa’s continued mystique ensured that many new research techniques, including ancient DNA, were pioneered on moa, says natural history curator Paul Scofield (pictured with the skull of a giant moa). 📸: Neil Silverwood #nzgeo
The tools that this team from Landcare Research use in the field are straight out of Indiana Jones: sieves, a dustpan and brush, a trowel and paintbrush. “It’s cutting edge analysis meets old school excavation,” says Janet Wilmshurst. “You just never know what’s there until you dig a hole.” Wilmshurst describes herself as a palaeoecologist. Her job is to reconstruct the lives of New Zealand’s birds and animals, many of them now extinct. Link to story in bio. 📸: Neil Silverwood #nzgeo
The laughing owl, or whēkau, was more than twice the size of a morepork, with a cackling cry that was likened to “doleful shrieks” and “two men cooeeing to each other over a distance” by the amateur naturalist William Walter Smith. Though it could fly, the laughing #owl mostly hunted on the forest floor, using its unusually long, strong legs to pounce on small animals—wrens, wētā, bats, tuatara, frogs—and carry them back to its roost. The owl was widespread in the mid-1800s, but declined rapidly with the arrival of ferrets and stoats. Link to story in bio. 📸: Neil Silverwood #nzgeo
Since humans arrived in New Zealand, we’ve lost nearly half of our native terrestrial bird species. Some of those extinct icons are well known, while others are recalled only by myth and bones. We will probably never know the full polyphony of that primordial dawn chorus, but old bones and new science are giving us a richer picture of life in the land of birds, back when they still ruled the roost. For the first time, we’re able to answer questions about what they ate, where they came from, how they were related to each other, and how they got so much bigger, heavier, and weirder than their ancestors. Link to story in bio. 📸: Neil Silverwood #nzgeo
Niue Fresh grows parsley, coriander, basil, mint and oregano to supply local restaurants and the supermarket in Alofi. It has also attracted the interest of New Zealand’s top chefs, but the company is still waiting on clearance from the Ministry for Primary Industries for export to New Zealand. 📷: @depth.nz #nzgeo #niue
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