New Zealand - poisonous experiences close to the ground
|Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary for native species, and is located in the heart of New Zealand's capital, Wellington.
A display at Zealandia detailing the process for tracking rats, mice, and small predators like stoats.
It seems that everyone we talked to from New Zealand or Australia knew about invasive species and their impacts, and could list the major species of concern. This would not be true in the US. I would guess that those Aussies and Kiwis have been indoctrinated (in a good way) from an early age about the unique flora and fauna of their respective countries, and of the impacts of invasive species on the endemic species.
Like Hawaii, New Zealand animal and plant life coevolved in the absence of terrestrial mammals other than a limited number of bats. The introduction of rats, cats, ungulates, brushtail possums, rabbits, and stoats has had major impacts on the bird and plant life (land use decisions and the introduction of cattle and sheep also had major, major impacts).
|Red-crowned parakeet in Wellington.
|Notice of night shooting for possum control.
|Go mountain biking, but don't play with the poison baits!
|Sign above a display in Zealandia, educating visitors about the traps they will see throughout the nature preserve.
|Major 8.5 km long fencing in background to keep out digging, climbing, and jumping invasive mammals. This fence makes Zealandia an island of sanctuary in Wellington, protecting native birds like the Tūī, shown here.
|Caroline with our nature guides, Deb and Stuart, at Zealandia.
|Oh, and our visit was on Saint Patrick's Day! I'm 16% Irish!