News of New Zealanders via Global Media

New Zealand Wasp Named After Harry Potter Villain

New Zealand Wasp Named After Harry Potter Villain

Auckland University entomologist and Harry Potter fan Tom Saunders has named a parasitoid wasp after “redeemed” character Lucius Malfoy in the hope of showing not all wasps are bad. Saunders named and described the wasp…

Drilling Reveals Secrets of Sunken Lost Continent

Drilling Reveals Secrets of Sunken Lost Continent

The mostly submerged South Pacific landmass Zealandia may have been closer to land level than once thought, providing pathways for animals and plants to cross continents from 80 million years ago, an expedition has…

How to Raise the Rarest Kiwi

How to Raise the Rarest Kiwi

“When I first see the kiwi chick, I briefly wonder if I’m actually looking at a real animal. It’s a grapefruit-sized sphere of fluff with an adorably short version of an adult’s long beak,”…

New Zealand’s Iconic Kiwi May Be Losing Its Sight

New Zealand’s Iconic Kiwi May Be Losing Its Sight

The flightless nocturnal kiwi may be evolving to lose its eyesight altogether, suggest researchers. The blindness was discovered during a study of 160 Okarito brown kiwis (Apteryx rowi) in the South Island’s Okarito forest….

Quest to Rediscover Lost Pink and White Terraces

Quest to Rediscover Lost Pink and White Terraces

Roughly the size of a city block and up to eight stories high, the Pink and White Terraces were one of the top tourist attractions in New Zealand during the 19th century, Atlas Obscura…

You Never Saw a Dolphin That Looked so Cute

You Never Saw a Dolphin That Looked so Cute

During the summer of 1955-56, the Northland township of Opononi attracted thousands of visitors from across the country. They came because they wanted to catch a glimpse of a visitor who’d appeared on the…

Timothy Husband Helping Animals at Dubai Safari

Timothy Husband Helping Animals at Dubai Safari

New Zealander Timothy Husband should have been enjoying retirement at his cattle farm near the Blue Mountains of Australia, but he couldn’t resist the lure of helping captive wild animals at Dubai’s new safari…

Brown Kiwi Hatches at Zoo in Virginia

Brown Kiwi Hatches at Zoo in Virginia

A little brown kiwi chick has hatched at The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia, United States. Zoo staff had been monitoring the egg closely the previous week after signs it would…

Forest Trump Plant Trees in Opposition to Policies

Forest Trump Plant Trees in Opposition to Policies

New Zealand-based green group, Forest Trump, is mounting an effort to protest President Trump’s environmental policies by planting trees. The group was founded in March by British climate scientist and glaciologist Dan Price, American Ph.D….

Queenstown One of the Best Places to See Southern Lights

Queenstown One of the Best Places to See Southern Lights

The southern lights or aurora australis are the southern cousin to the aurora borealis and can best be seen from the most southern of landmasses, such as Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica, writes Jennifer…

Pohutukawa May Have Roots in Australia

Pohutukawa May Have Roots in Australia

The pohutukawa, a species of myrtle that erupts with fiery crimson flowers during warm weather, is one of New Zealand’s most iconic trees. The tree also has sacred significance to the indigenous Maori culture….

Seal and Octopus Fight Caught on Camera

Seal and Octopus Fight Caught on Camera

Tourist guide Connor Staple was kayaking close to Kaikoura last week when he captured dramatic footage of a seal battering an octopus, Adam Boult reports for the Telegraph. The New Zealand fur seal spent about…

We Need to Appreciate Undervalued Non-Native Birds

We Need to Appreciate Undervalued Non-Native Birds

In an opinion piece for Australian research news publication The Conversation, Lincoln University professor of ecology Stephen Wratten considers the place of non-native birds in New Zealand’s ecosystem. “New Zealand has an audacious plan to…

Our Yellow-Eyed Penguins in Trouble

Our Yellow-Eyed Penguins in Trouble

According to a new study, New Zealand’s iconic yellow-eyed penguin (hoiho) may be locally extinct by 2043, Kendra Pierre-Louis writes for Popular Science. The study, published in the journal PeerJ, reports…

New Zealand’s Ambitious Plan to Save Birds

New Zealand’s Ambitious Plan to Save Birds

New Zealand has set itself an environmental goal so ambitious it’s been compared to putting a man on the moon: ridding the entire nation of every last rat, possum and stoat, The Telegraph reports. The…

Kea’s Laughter Positively Contagious

Kea’s Laughter Positively Contagious

New Zealand’s alpine parrot the kea has become the first non-mammal to show signs of contagious “laughter,” according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. Kea aren’t quite cracking each other…

Data Shows How Powerful Quake Shifted Parts of NZ

Data Shows How Powerful Quake Shifted Parts of NZ

New data, including satellite radar imagery, shows that parts of the South Island moved 5m closer to the North Island during last November’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Information has come from observations on the ground and…

Lost British Birdsong Discovered in NZ Birds

Lost British Birdsong Discovered in NZ Birds

By comparing recordings of yellowhammer accents in New Zealand and the UK, scientists have discovered how the birds’ song might have sounded in Britain 150 years ago. The study, published in Ecography, examined…

Hockstetter’s Frogs Jump for Joy in New Sanctuary

Hockstetter’s Frogs Jump for Joy in New Sanctuary

New Zealand has declared the natural habitat of the very rare Hochstetter’s frog to be a conservation sanctuary, giving the tiny creature a chance to recover its numbers in a 400ha area of land…

NZ Takes the Fight to Pint-Size Predators

NZ Takes the Fight to Pint-Size Predators

A leader in eradication campaigns, New Zealand is launching its most ambitious effort to wipe out the 30 million possums killing our native birds. The Wall Street Journal reports on the progress of the…

Ferret Smell Could Help Protect Native Birds

Ferret Smell Could Help Protect Native Birds

Landcare Researchers say that the stench of ferrets could be a useful tool to protect the country’s birds, as the smell helps to attract non-native predators. An experiment at a farm in northern Hawke’s Bay…

2016 To Be New Zealand’s Hottest Year On Record

2016 To Be New Zealand’s Hottest Year On Record

“New Zealand is emitting more than seven times our fair share of greenhouse gases per person,” says Green Party co-leader James Shaw in response to a First Post report that 2016 will…

New Zealand, the Kardashians, and the Battle to Control Manuka Honey

New Zealand, the Kardashians, and the Battle to Control Manuka Honey

“Kourtney Kardashian hawks its health benefits. Counterfeiters and chemists labor to unlock its molecular secrets. And now it’s at the center of an international branding war,” writes Ellen Airhart in an article for

Oamaru’s Underpass for March of the Penguins

Oamaru’s Underpass for March of the Penguins

A group of Little Blue Penguins have had their own underpass built between their nests and the sea at Oamaru Harbour to protect them from traffic and give them privacy from tourists keen to…

Masking Tape Saves Endangered Kiwi

Masking Tape Saves Endangered Kiwi

“Using nothing but tape, a fragment of shell and MacGyver-like ingenuity, nature park worker Claire Travers patched up a badly damaged egg sufficiently for the baby kiwi to survive,” as reported in an article…

Hundreds of Jellyfish Landings at New Zealand Coastline

Hundreds of Jellyfish Landings at New Zealand Coastline

“In the last month mass jellyfish landings have been reported on beaches from Nelson in the South Island to Whangarei in the top of the North Island,” writes Eleanor Ainge Roy for

New Zealand’s Plan to Save The Kiwi

New Zealand’s Plan to Save The Kiwi

“Some 100,000 wild kiwi could be roaming New Zealand in less than 15 years, according to a new government plan,” reports the BBC. “The Kiwi Recovery Plan 2017-2027 by the Department…

The World’s Only Alpine Parrot Faces Extinction

The World’s Only Alpine Parrot Faces Extinction

The New Zealand kea, the world’s only alpine parrot “is at threat of extinction in New Zealand as numbers plummet in the face of threats from non-native predators and human development,” writes Eleanor Ainge…

New Zealand to Exterminate All Introduced Predators

New Zealand to Exterminate All Introduced Predators

The New Zealand Government has announced a “world-first” project to make our country predator free by 2050, aiming to wipe out all introduced species of rats, stoats and possums. According to the government, introduced species…

NZ Kakapo’s Successful Breeding Season

NZ Kakapo’s Successful Breeding Season

The critically endangered kakapo – one of the world’s rarest birds – “saw its numbers boom by 28%” with 34 new chicks this year. That brings its population up to 157, as reported in…

Conservation Dogs on the Pest Warpath

Conservation Dogs on the Pest Warpath

One of New Zealand’s greatest conservation accomplishments, our so-called 100 “island sanctuaries”, are entirely pest- and predator-free, allowing endangered animals to thrive without threat. Conservation dogs like Piri the terrier ratter, a specially trained…

Rare Whales Seen off Dunedin Coast

Rare Whales Seen off Dunedin Coast

For the first time in New Zealand waters an extremely rare grouping of Shepherd’s Beaked Whales, one of the least known cetaceans in the world, has been spotted from a University of Otago research…

Surprising Volcano Discovery Beneath Matata

Surprising Volcano Discovery Beneath Matata

Scientists say they have discovered a magma buildup near the town of Matata that could signal the beginnings of a new volcano – although they’re not expecting an eruption any time soon. Geophysicist Ian Hamling…

Rare Kiwi Hatches at US Biology Institute

Rare Kiwi Hatches at US Biology Institute

A brown kiwi – a rare flightless New Zealand bird, has hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia, as reported in The Washington Post. When the chick’s parents Ngati Hine Rua…

Kakapo Conservationists Celebrate Breeding Success

Kakapo Conservationists Celebrate Breeding Success

The kakapo, the world’s heaviest parrot, a critically endangered bird that only lives in a remote part of New Zealand, has had its most successful breeding season since conservation efforts began more than two…

Protecting a Yellow-Eyed Beauty

Protecting a Yellow-Eyed Beauty

Though its figure—with its striking eyes and signature colored band across its head—adorns New Zealand’s five-dollar bill, the yellow-eyed penguin is severely endangered. Just 2,000 of the flightless birds are alive today, down from…

NZ Spider Could Have the Fastest Jaws in the World

NZ Spider Could Have the Fastest Jaws in the World

New research undertaken by scientists at the Smithsonian Institution in the United States has highlighted a species of New Zealand spider that could have the fastest jaws in the world, with strikes so fast…

Meteor Shines Bright Green Over New Zealand

Meteor Shines Bright Green Over New Zealand

A meteor lit up New Zealand skies on Tuesday about 9pm. New Zealander Jono Matla was lucky enough to capture the meteor cutting its way through the sky. It was “one of the most amazing…

Kakapo May Need Parasites to Survive

Kakapo May Need Parasites to Survive

Conservation biologists are doing everything they can to keep the critically endangered kakapo from vanishing. And so, when they discovered a few years ago that a pair of captive kakapo were infected with tapeworms,…

Sound Fossil of the Huia Echoes in Munich

Sound Fossil of the Huia Echoes in Munich

As inhabitants of the Anthropocene age, in which our influence on the planet is so profound and terrifying, the Guardian asks how our writers and artists are responding to this crisis. Included in an…

US Study Looks at How Islands Are Saving Natives

US Study Looks at How Islands Are Saving Natives

“In 1894, a pregnant house cat escaped from a lighthouse on Stephens Island, in the Marlborough Sounds. She had her kittens in the wild, where they went feral. Within 13 months, a native bird…

South Canterbury Contractors Unearth Moa Bones

South Canterbury Contractors Unearth Moa Bones

Contractors at a site in South Canterbury have made an unexpected find while digging a trench – dozens of bones belonging to the long-extinct moa. Workers spotted the bones during excavations in an area which…

NZ Happy Chickens Farm Video Goes Viral

NZ Happy Chickens Farm Video Goes Viral

“A video from a farm in New Zealand, Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs, has been making the rounds on social media in recent days, and it’s easy to see why,” writes Stephen Messenger…

Kakapo Genome Sequencing a Whole Lot of Help

Kakapo Genome Sequencing a Whole Lot of Help

A group of kakapo will have their genomes sequenced in the hope it will improve the birds’ genetic diversity. There are only 125 kakapo left and every one of them will have their genetic…

Migaloo Sighted in New Zealand

Migaloo Sighted in New Zealand

The world’s most famous white whale Migaloo – a pure white humpback – has been sighted between the North and South Island of New Zealand. “Migaloo being in New Zealand waters supports the findings from…

Moa’s Range of Ecological Roles Irreplaceable

Moa’s Range of Ecological Roles Irreplaceable

Filling the ecological gap left by the extinction of the moa with imported Australian emus and cassowaries would not work, according to insights into the giant flightless birds’ feeding behaviours. The findings, reported in the…

Antarctica shaping up as 21st century geopolitical hotspot

Antarctica shaping up as 21st century geopolitical hotspot

The locale of one of today’s greatest real estate development grabs might surprise you. It’s not Dubai, Las Vegas, or Shanghai, but the frozen continent that rests at the end of the world. Writing…

New Zealand Voices Strong Protest over Japan’s Antarctic Whaling

New Zealand Voices Strong Protest over Japan’s Antarctic Whaling

New Zealand has led an “international protest on Monday against Japan’s plans to resume its research hunt for whales in the Southern Ocean, while Australia said it is considering further legal action”, as reported…

Long-legged Arachnids Go to Battle

Long-legged Arachnids Go to Battle

Entomologists from the University of Auckland have found that harvestmen, Pantopsalis cheliferoides, which live in the wet forests of the North Island, are the first animals found to have different types of weapon in…

New Zealand Fur Seal Population Increasing

New Zealand Fur Seal Population Increasing

The New Zealand fur seal population seems to be recovering after being pushed to the brink of extinction, according to a recent NZ government report. “I went to Kaikoura in 1984 and all I saw…

New Zealand Fur Seal Still Squatting on Opera House Stairs

New Zealand Fur Seal Still Squatting on Opera House Stairs

A young New Zealand fur seal has made the steps of Sydney’s Opera House his permanent home. The New Zealand seal was first spotted on the stairs in October 2014. “The Opera House may not have…

New Zealand Creates 620,000 Km2 Ocean Sanctuary

New Zealand Creates 620,000 Km2 Ocean Sanctuary

“A vast stretch of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone is being turned into an ocean sanctuary in a landmark deal to preserve one of the most pristine and unique environments on Earth”, according to…

Domestic Market Key to Demise of Imperiled Dolphins

Domestic Market Key to Demise of Imperiled Dolphins

American environmental writer Andrew Revkin, in his regular column for the New York Times, says local nets, not faraway markets are the key to the “deeply imperiled toothed whale” New Zealand’s Maui’s dolphin. “The subspecies…

NZ Baby Seals Use Inland Waterfall as Creche

NZ Baby Seals Use Inland Waterfall as Creche

Baby seals in New Zealand have turned the Ohau Waterfall into their personal swimming pool, even though the inland waterfall is more than a mile away from the coast. “It takes the seals about half-an-hour…

Rare White Whale Migaloo Tours New Zealand

Rare White Whale Migaloo Tours New Zealand

A rare white humpback, usually spotted up the eastern Australian coastline, has been seen swimming with a normally dark-coloured humpback in New Zealand’s Cook Strait. “White humpbacks are extremely rare. Only four have been reported…

South Island Skies Illuminated by Aurora Australis

South Island Skies Illuminated by Aurora Australis

Local photographers Stephen Voss and Blair Pattinson braved freezing temperatures in the South Island to capture images of the Aurora Australis, a natural light display in the sky. A solar storm meant that the Aurora…