New Zealand



Тип: реферат

Язык: английский

Дата добавления: 12.05.2012

Размер файла: 104 KB

Формат: rtf

 

Краткое описание работы: Flora and Fauna

New Zealand is believed to be a fragment of the ancient Southern continent of Gondwanaland which became detached over 100 million years ago allowing many ancient plants and animals to survive and evolve in isolation. As a result, most of the New Zealand flora and fauna is indigenous/endemic. About 10 to 15% of the total land area of New Zealand is native flora, the bulk protected in national parks and reserves.
New Zealand has the worlds largest flightless parrot (kakapo), the only truly alpine parrot (kea), the oldest reptile (tuatara), the biggest earthworms, the largest weta, the smallest bats, some of the oldest trees, and many of the rarest birds, insects, and plants in the world…. New Zealand is home to the world famous Tuatara, a lizard-like reptile which dates back to the dinosaurs and perhaps before (260 mill years?). The only native land mammals are two rare species of bat. New Zealand’s many endemic birds include the flightless kiwi, takahe, kakapo and weka. Far too many species of bird have become extinct since humans arrived on New Zealand included the various species of Dinornis (moa) the largest of which stood up to 2.5 metres high. There is also some unique insect life such as the Giant Weta and glow worms. Other than two spiders, there is a lack of any deadly poisonous things (snakes, spiders, etc.) which is why New Zealand Agricultural Regulations are so strict.
Introduced species — pigs, goats, possums, dogs, cats, deer and the ubiquitous sheep — are found throughout New Zealand but their proliferation in the wild has had a deleterious effect on the environment: over 150 native plants — 10% of the total number of native species — and many native birds are presently threatened with extinction.
New Zealand’s offshore waters hold a variety of fish, including tuna, marlin, snapper, trevally, kahawai and shark; while its marine mammals — dolphins, seals and whales — attract nature-lovers from around the world. There are 12 national, 20 forest, three maritime and two marine parks, plus two World Heritage Areas: Tongariro National Park in the North Island and Te Waihipouna-mu in the South Island.
One of the most noticeable plants is the pohutakawa (known as the New Zealand Christmas tree) which detonates with brilliant red flowers around December. The great kauri trees in the few remaining kauri forests in Northland are very old with some believed to be up to 2000 years old. Much of the South Island is still forested, particularly the West Coast.