Best of Conservation: Zealandia is a wildlife sanctuary in a city

January 26, 2018

The working week comes to an end. The "Best of" series of the KHAMAMA Journal seeks to inspire people ahead of the weekend to discover new and exciting conservation projects, people or products on a weekly basis every Friday at 10:00am GMT.

A big break up and its effects

The origin in New Zealand's illustrious bird population lays in the split of from the supercontinent Gondwana 85 million years ago, which was before mammals colonised the world.

Introduced predators stouts, rats and cats or the Australian possum endanger the native bird population tremendously. The possum population in New Zealand has no natural predators and quickly got out of hand after settlers brought them into the country in 1837 hoping to make a fortune by trading the fur. They are not only harming the native bird population but also destroying native trees with their strong paws.

Kaka Parrot was extinct in Wellington

One of the species, the kaka parrot, was extinct in Wellington. 

The government pledged to wipe out possums alongside stoats, ferrets and rats by 2050. This often causes a moral dilemma between conservationists and animal rights activists, as killings of predators are carried out systematically and even organised by schools as annual possum hunt. (Read more about this here.)

Zealandia: A conservation island in the middle of the city

Zealandia is a 500 acre conservation project that claims to be "the world's first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary" with the aim to create an ecosystem in an pre-human state. So far they have already managed to reintroduce 19 species of native wildlife of which 6 were absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.

Tieke Saddleback bird

A tieke bird showing its beautiful orange feathers.

A fence of fine mesh keeps predators out while traps are placed around the park to capture unwanted predators. All efforts are supported by motivated volunteers helping the workforce financially and with their own time to create a safe environment for iconic native species like the kaka parrots, tieke, takahe or tui bird which is so famous for its beautiful sounds.

Tui birds are famous for their complicated songs.A tui bird easily to recognise by the distinct white feathers at the neck.

Little Spotted KiwiThe Little Spotted Kiwi is one of the species who thrives in the sanctuary.

Kaka Parrot

Not everyone great the return of the infamous kaka parrot in New Zealand causing noise in urban neighbourhoods.

Which one of those birds would you like to see in real life?

Read more on Zealandia in this article of Emma Marris by National Geographic.

Plan your trip and visit the Zealandia website

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