News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Barbara Wheeler, The First New Zealander to Become a Longwood Gardens Fellow

Barbara Wheeler, The First New Zealander to Become a Longwood Gardens Fellow

Dunedin horticulturist Barbara Wheeler is the first New Zealander to receive a fellowship from Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, one of the premier horticultural gardens in the United States. The 13-month residency aims…

Tourists Banned from Swimming with Dolphins

Tourists Banned from Swimming with Dolphins

Tourists have been banned from swimming with bottlenose dolphins in New Zealand in a bid to protect them from “being loved into extinction”. Chiaro Giordano reports for UK newspaper, The Independent. The population of bottlenose…

Are Weka Slacking Off in Seed Dispersal?

Are Weka Slacking Off in Seed Dispersal?

Humans can be a terrible influence on birds. Crows that live near us end up with high cholesterol, sparrows screech to be heard over oil pumps, and instead of migrating, some storks now just…

Vanishing Act of New Zealand’s Toheroa

Vanishing Act of New Zealand’s Toheroa

People talk about toheroa like they’re a dream, because these days, they are, Naomi Arnold writes for travel site, Atlas Obscura. The big, delicious surf clams were once plentiful on New Zealand shorelines, before…

Human-Sized Penguin Lived in New Zealand

Human-Sized Penguin Lived in New Zealand

The BBC reports on the findings of the remains of a giant penguin the size of a human that were discovered in Waipara, North Canterbury by amateur palaeontologist Leigh Love in 2018. The fossilised leg…

Study Provides Alarming Biodiversity Figures

Study Provides Alarming Biodiversity Figures

“When humans arrived in New Zealand some 700 years ago, they discovered a plethora of unusual birds that could be found nowhere else in the world, having evolved in isolation on the island ……

Fossils of Largest Ever Parrot Found in Otago

Fossils of Largest Ever Parrot Found in Otago

The fossils of an enormous parrot, estimated to have weighed about 7kg, have been found near Saint Bathans in Central Otago. The Guardian reports on the discovery. Palaeontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus…

Perfectly Preserved Moa Prints Discovered

Perfectly Preserved Moa Prints Discovered

Michael Johnston was out taking his boss’s dog for a dip in a nearby river in Ranfurly, when he stumbled across some unusual markings in the waterbed. Jonathan Ore writes about the discovery for a…

Record-Breaking Breeding Season for the Kākāpō

Record-Breaking Breeding Season for the Kākāpō

The world’s fattest species of parrot, the kākāpō, has had a record-breaking breeding season in New Zealand, with scientists saying the fortunes of the critically-endangered bird are finally turning around. There are only 147 adult…

Why Some of Our Famous Flightless Birds Can’t Fly

Why Some of Our Famous Flightless Birds Can’t Fly

University of Otago researchers in association with colleagues from Harvard University have discovered new evidence of what made some of New Zealand’s iconic birds such as the kiwi and extinct moa flightless. Dr Paul…

Saving the Strangest Parrot on Earth

Saving the Strangest Parrot on Earth

It’s as plump as a goose, has the face of an owl and waddles like a duck. It sleeps in the day and is active at night. And it can climb just about anything…

New Zealand Continues Plans to Save Natives

New Zealand Continues Plans to Save Natives

New Zealand is three years into what many consider to be the world’s largest animal protection programme. The Predator Free 2050 government programme has a goal of removing all non-native pests by the year…

Whale Shark Expert Simon Pierce Hopes Tourism Helps

Whale Shark Expert Simon Pierce Hopes Tourism Helps

New Plymouth-born head of the Marine Megafauna Foundation and leading authority on whale sharks Simon Pierce has been overseeing a project on Nosy Be, an island off the northwestern coast of Madagascar, where there…

Kahurangi National Park Gets Bigger

Kahurangi National Park Gets Bigger

Kahurangi National Park, situated in the north-west corner of the South Island, the second-largest national park in the country, has expanded by 14 per cent, roughly half the size of Auckland. More than 64,000ha of…

Extinct Penguins Wiped out by Hungry Humans

Extinct Penguins Wiped out by Hungry Humans

The discovery of two extinct penguin subspecies in New Zealand is a cautionary tale of the threats faced by the waddling birds in the wild. Veronique Greenwood reports for The New York Times. For thousands…

Origins of Extinct Adzebill Traced to Africa

Origins of Extinct Adzebill Traced to Africa

Scientists at the University of Adelaide have revealed the African origins of New Zealand’s most mysterious giant flightless bird – the now extinct adzebill – showing that some of its closest living relatives are…

NZ’s Deteriorating Water Raises A Stink

NZ’s Deteriorating Water Raises A Stink

“New Zealand’s clean, green image took a beating this summer as tourists travelling through the countryside posted pictures of lakes and rivers off limits due to contamination by farm effluent, rubbish and human faece.”…

Candyman’s Quiet Quest to Collect Banana Varieties

Candyman’s Quiet Quest to Collect Banana Varieties

In Alega, American Samoa some delicious banana varieties are getting harder to find. A New Zealander, known only as Candyman, collects the fruit. Acquiring a new one can be as simple as trading with…

What Is the Sea Telling Us about Whale Strandings?

What Is the Sea Telling Us about Whale Strandings?

Whale whisperer Hori Parata was just seven years old when he attended his first mass stranding, a beaching of porpoises in Northland, their cries screeching through the air on the deserted stretch of sand. Seven…

Hopes Webcam Can save Endangered Albatross

Hopes Webcam Can save Endangered Albatross

Millions of amateur naturalists around the world have been tuning in to the secret lives of albatrosses as Department of Conversation (DOC) rangers on the Otago Peninsula employ YouTube in a bid to save…

Endangered Penguins Kitted Out in Onesies

Endangered Penguins Kitted Out in Onesies

Ahead of Penguin Awareness Day on 20 January, a story has been doing the rounds about The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin. They are using baby onesies to aid in the recuperation of endangered yellow-eyed…

Where to Spot Wildlife in New Zealand

Where to Spot Wildlife in New Zealand

“Located at the bottom of the planet, New Zealand has a diverse range of landscapes in a country with a population that is tiny by world standards” and “it’s no surprise that New Zealand…

Why Are Whales Stranding in New Zealand?

Why Are Whales Stranding in New Zealand?

While whale strandings are not uncommon, they usually involve just a single animal rather than a whole group. The recent flurry of mass strandings on New Zealand beaches has brought…

North and South Islands Moving Closer Together

North and South Islands Moving Closer Together

The North and South Islands are moving closer together after a series of earthquakes in 2016 that lifted the sea floor, GNS Science has said. Over about a minute-and-a-half, parts of the Marlborough coast were…

Kiwi To Be Reintroduced to Wellington

Kiwi To Be Reintroduced to Wellington

Wellington could soon have kiwi nesting beside Parliament House thanks to an ambitious conservation project that aims to reintroduce New Zealand’s iconic national bird to the capital city within the next decade. There are 68,000…

New Zealand Bird of the Year

New Zealand Bird of the Year

The Kererū – “a native green and bronze wood pigeon with a taste for fermented fruit has been named the 2019 bird of the year in New Zealand” in a poll organised by Forest…

Fiordland Penguins Make Mammoth Migrations

Fiordland Penguins Make Mammoth Migrations

Every December, the Fiordland crested penguins, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, which live on the South Island, disappear, Jason Daley reports for the Smithsonian journal. A new satellite study shows the penguins migrate up to 7000km to…

Time May Be Running Out for Tāne Mahuta

Time May Be Running Out for Tāne Mahuta

New Zealand’s oldest and most sacred tree, Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest), stands 60m from death, as a fungal disease known as kauri dieback spreads unabated across the country. Despite stringent efforts by…

Sign Up to Help Protect Our Iconic Bird

Sign Up to Help Protect Our Iconic Bird

Kiwis for kiwi is a national charity working with community and Māori-led conservation projects to put a stop to the horrific decline of our national icon. With the support of Old Mout Cider, they have…

Frolicking Right Whale Charms Wellingtonians

Frolicking Right Whale Charms Wellingtonians

A huge southern right whale frolicking in Wellington harbour brought the capital’s waterfront to a standstill last week as locals skipped work to catch a glimpse of the animal. Southern right whales used to be…

NZ Most Perilous Place for Seabirds

NZ Most Perilous Place for Seabirds

“Seabirds are more at risk of dying due to plastic in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world, new research presented to parliament has shown.” Eleanor Ainge Roy reports for

Towards Making Auckland Island Predator-Free

Towards Making Auckland Island Predator-Free

At Forest and Bird’s 2018 Conference, New Zealand Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced funding for the first step in the country’s “most ambitious island pest eradication”. Sage has committed $2 million over the next three…

Roadside Gyms Keep Kea Busy

Roadside Gyms Keep Kea Busy

To try to keep New Zealand’s Mountain Parrots “out of harm’s way, conservationists have developed roadside kea gyms which is equipped with ladders, spinning flotation devices, swings and climbing frames,” as reported in an…

Saving New Zealand’s Prehistoric Giant Wētā

Saving New Zealand’s Prehistoric Giant Wētā

New Zealand is rich in wildlife and, because of its isolation, there are hundreds of plants and animals that evolved here that cannot be found anywhere else. The country’s giant wētā (wētā punga) managed…

Bird’s Eye View of New Zealand’s Changing Glaciers

Bird’s Eye View of New Zealand’s Changing Glaciers

Every March, glacier “watchers” take to the skies to photograph snow and ice clinging to high peaks along the length of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Researchers Andrew Lorrey, Andrew Mackintosh and Brian Anderson write…

New Zealand Rallies to Save its Iconic Bird

New Zealand Rallies to Save its Iconic Bird

There are 68,000 kiwi left in New Zealand, and they are declining at the rate of 2 per cent per year. A century ago, there were millions. Outside the predator-free zones, kiwi chicks and…

Dubai Safari’s Timothy Husband Recovers Exotic Pets

Dubai Safari’s Timothy Husband Recovers Exotic Pets

It has been a busy first six months for Dubai Safari under the stewardship of its technical director, New Zealander Timothy Husband, Nick Webster reports for The National. Too big for owners to manage…

Genetically Distinct Blue Whales Discovered in NZ

Genetically Distinct Blue Whales Discovered in NZ

A new population of at least 700 blue whales has been found living between the North and South Islands. The gigantic marine mammals are genetically distinct from whales found in the neighbouring Pacific and…

Spectacular Sinkhole Opens Up In New Zealand

Spectacular Sinkhole Opens Up In New Zealand

“A spectacular sinkhole the length of two football fields and the depth of a six-story building has opened up on a New Zealand farm” near the North Island town of Rotorua, writes Guy Birchall in…

See the World’s Smallest Penguins in Oamaru

See the World’s Smallest Penguins in Oamaru

Life can be tough when you’re a blue penguin. For starters, you are no taller than a house cat and weigh less than a kilogram. That means many other creatures – rats, ferrets and…

Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind

Prehistoric Toothless Whale Among Oldest of Its Kind

A fossil found in South Canterbury is now one of the earliest members of the filter-feeding family of behemoths known as baleen whales. Modern baleen whales include many of the world’s largest cetaceans, such…

Sperm Race Helping Save Sugar-Lapping Hihi

Sperm Race Helping Save Sugar-Lapping Hihi

“It’s likely you’ve never heard of a hihi, let alone seen one in the wild. Also known as stitchbirds, these colourful little critters are a true taonga. They’re only found in New Zealand, and…

Glowworms Are Stars of the New Zealand Night

Glowworms Are Stars of the New Zealand Night

“If you want to experience a starry night in New Zealand even when it’s cloudy, there’s an option. When foul weather hides the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds of the southern skies, you…

How Bisexual Goose Thomas Became an Icon

How Bisexual Goose Thomas Became an Icon

A memorial was recently held for Thomas the goose, a “New Zealander who spent most of his life as a loving partner, caring father and an icon of the LGBT community”, Yvette Tan writes in a…

Frisky Spokesbird Sirocco Comes out of Hiding

Frisky Spokesbird Sirocco Comes out of Hiding

Sirocco, New Zealand’s superstar kakapo, is alive and well in Fiordland, according to the Department of Conservation. The conservation ‘spokesbird’ shot to fame after he got a bit too friendly…

World’s Loneliest Bird Nigel Dies on Mana Island

World’s Loneliest Bird Nigel Dies on Mana Island

Nigel, a handsome gannet who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, died suddenly last week. Wherever his soul has landed, the singles scene surely cannot be worse, Karin Brulliard…

Extinct Giant Burrowing Bat Fossil Found in NZ

Extinct Giant Burrowing Bat Fossil Found in NZ

The fossils of a massive bat have been discovered near the historic mining town of St Bathans in Central Otago. The 16- to 19-million-year-old bat’s body mass was just 40g, but its teeth and…

Struggling Kiwis Get A Little Help From Friends

Struggling Kiwis Get A Little Help From Friends

“The Farm Cape Kidnappers, a luxury resort in the North Island, sits inside one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the country, the privately-owned Cape Sanctuary. There, efforts are underway to save the native…

Experts Develop Roadside Gym for Endangered Kea

Experts Develop Roadside Gym for Endangered Kea

Conservationists want to stop New Zealand’s kea – dubbed the world’s smartest parrot – from wandering onto roads and begging humans for food, so they have designed a special gym for the country’s playful…

Largest Underwater Eruption Discovered off NZ

Largest Underwater Eruption Discovered off NZ

Researchers have found that the world’s largest deep ocean volcanic eruption happened 1000km north east of New Zealand. Named as Havre, the deep ocean volcanic eruption was first discovered in 2002. A solidified volcanic rock…

Adorable Penguin Melts Hearts in Bluff

Adorable Penguin Melts Hearts in Bluff

Footage of a Fiordland crested penguin in Bluff waddling up to his awaiting human friend Rodney Clark has delighted the internet and amused many New Zealand locals. The video shows Bluff local Clark standing on the…

Human-Sized Penguin Remains Found on Hampden Beach

Human-Sized Penguin Remains Found on Hampden Beach

Remnants of a 1.77-metre-tall penguin who walked on earth 55m to 60m years ago have been found south of Christchurch on what is now Hampden Beach. Measurements of the partial skeleton show that the flightless…

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

Before they were brought to New Zealand in the 13th century, the only land mammals in the country were bats and local birds could roam free. Today much of New Zealand, “has been so…

Trump Forest Countering Ignorant Climate Policy

Trump Forest Countering Ignorant Climate Policy

Founded in New Zealand in March 2017 by British climate scientist Dr Dan Price, American PhD candidate Jeff Willis and French-New Zealander Adrien Taylor (pictured right), the Trump Forest movement has now gone global,…

NZ’s Winter Shorter by a Month over 100 Years

NZ’s Winter Shorter by a Month over 100 Years

Studies by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) show that winter has contracted equally at its beginning and end. Winter has gotten shorter by a month over the last 100 years,…

Compassionate Conservation a Better Alternative

Compassionate Conservation a Better Alternative

“It’s a well-known fact that New Zealand is at war with much of its wildlife. Of course, not all New Zealanders agree with this onslaught, the goal of which is to remove all non-native…