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Little Blue Penguins and Skiing Grasshopppers

November 17, 2011

The next time I go to Matu-Somes Island (or any other outdoor place in New Zealand) I will have this book in my bag.

Little Blues, lay your eggs here. Matu-Somes

Tuatara on Matu-Somes

I learn from this book (pg 44) that our ‘little blue penguins‘ are the same as the Australian ‘fairy penguins’, and that the giant weta (pg 281)are gravely threatened.

I also see we have six different grasshoppers in New Zealand. One is called the ‘skiing grasshopper‘ 9p.277) : “Instead of floundering about in soft snow, this grasshopper ‘skis’ from danger. using its legs as ski-poles and its smooth abdomen as a snowboard, ‘skiing siggy’ is an excellent downhill racer.’ How cool is that – what wonderful creature live here!

With 80% of NZ species being found only on these islands, this book helps us know more about our unique wildlife.

COLLINS FIELD GUIDE TO NEW ZEALAND WILDLIFE Terence Lindsey and Rod Morris (Collins)

If uniqueness were a quality that could somehow be cubed, the result could legitimately be applied to New Zealand’s wildlife. But it has received a most fearful battering over the past century or two, and is now greatly in need of some tender loving care. Every little bit helps’ say this books author’s, Lindsey and Morris.

Evidently there are no island groups anywhere in the world that are comparable to New Zealand in size, latitude, climate and isolation. It seems we have around 10,000 species of insects, 2000 spiders, nearly 300 snails, and perhaps a further couple of thousand of all other groups combined.

This book is a completely updated edition and an extensive guide to well over 400 species of New Zealand fauna, including both native and  introduced species.  Each entry succinctly describes both habits and habitats, distribution, classification, breeding patterns, food and recognition tips to aid amateur identification.  The significantly expanded text also includes the latest research findings and changes in classification and nomenclature that have occurred in the past 10 years, along with many new photographs.

“It seems to me, far too few people — New Zealanders and ‘foreigners’ alike — are aware of just how extraordinary New Zealand wildlife is. For any animal enthusiast with a global perspective, it’s right up there on the billboard with its name in lights along with Hawaii, the Galapagos and Madagascar.” –  Terrence Lindsay (Zoologist and ornithologist)

Rod Morris’s stunning photographic work has also received widespread international acclaim. Previously a producer with Wild South, he is now a freelance natural history photographer.

This penguin washed up lost in NZ: On Peka Peka beach , north of Wellington 2011. He and his kind do not feature in the book of course! I'm using the photo is just because I like it. (see more elsewhere in this blog)

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