Tiritiri Matangi Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hunwagner
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by hunwagner

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Tiritiri Matangi Island

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    Tuatara

    by hunwagner Written Sep 9, 2006

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    Tiritiri is not all about birds!

    To me, perhaps the main highlight here was seeing the tuataras, New Zealand's most unique reptiles in their natural environment.
    These are very ancient reptiles, often called the closest living relatives of dinosaurs.
    Like many of the rarer endemic birds, they have only survived on predator-free off-shore islands. The ones living here are the result of a translocation program in 2003.
    If you are really lucky, you may encounter one during the day, but they are more readily seen at night. They are so rare and precious that each individual has a microchip implant and is individually monitored to prevent them from being stolen!

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    Little Spotted Kiwi

    by hunwagner Written Sep 9, 2006

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    The real prize among Tiritiri's birds is the one day-trippers almost never see.
    Like all kiwis, this species is nocturnal and therefore to see it you will have to stay overnight, go looking for it with a torch - and be lucky!
    On my first night on the island we saw none, also none on the third, while on the second night we saw four!
    Of all the kiwi species in New Zealand, this is the only one that seems to have become extinct on the mainland, and now only survives in translocated populations like the one here. They are doing well, and there are now over 50 of them on this island.

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Tiritiri Matangi Island Off The Beaten Path

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