Wildlife in New Zealand

For millions of years New Zealand has been isolated and unique birds, animals and plants have developed here.

For millions of years New Zealand has been isolated and unique birds, animals and plants have developed here. Best known are our flightless birds such as the Kiwi. Because there were no ground based enemies for ancient birds many lost there ability to fly with the passage of time.

Lizards, frogs, and bats are the only indigenous land animals in New Zealand. Dogs (kiri) and rats were introduced by the Maori, and red and fallow deer, trout, salmon, Australian opossum, rabbits, and domestic animals have been introduced over the last 150 years by European settlers. There are now strict regulations with very heavy penalties against the importing of plants, fruit and animals unless approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to protect the New Zealand environment.

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