Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Definitive guide to New Zealand Birds released


Definitive guide to New Zealand Birds released






A new photographic guide to New Zealand birds is one of the most definitive guides ever produced in the country.

Published by the Auckland University Press, Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide, by leading ornithologist Dr Paul Scofield and avian photographer Brent Stephenson, is the definitive introduction to the identification and behaviour of our country’s extraordinary and popular bird life.

“New Zealand is truly a land of birds,” says author Dr Paul Scofield, “with no naturally occurring terrestrial mammals. Birds are the commonest wild animals that New Zealanders will see outdoors – in the bush, taking the dog for a walk or going to the beach.

“When our national parks and recreation facilities are created and designed, birds are taken into account more than anything else and increasingly tourism is benefitting from our endemic birdlife.”

Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide covers all 365 bird species found today in New Zealand and its offshore islands.

Before the arrival of humans, New Zealand birds were an extraordinarily diverse group. Eleven endemic (or unique to New Zealand) families of birds existed here, with six of these still around today – kiwi, New Zealand parrots, New Zealand wrens, New Zealand wattlebirds, New Zealand creepers and stitchbirds.

When humans arrived, hunting, habitat destruction and introduced mam¬mals had apocalyptic ill-effects. Consequently, 61 bird species became extinct and 77 are currently threatened with extinction, some critically so. Many are now confined to offshore islands without predators and New Zealand has become a world leader in the techniques required to bring severely endangered species back from the brink of extinction, including the eradication of introduced mammals.

There have also been additions to our avifauna, including more than 100 species introduced from northern Europe since 1850 brought both for sport and for a connection with the settlers’ homelands. This has meant that in urban and modified rural habitats the most common species seen each day are those introduced from northern Europe.

Birds of New Zealand includes all birds that occur naturally, those that have estab-lished wild populations and all rare visitors. Each entry is dedicated to a single species, and includes a brief introduc¬tion, new photographs, a distri¬bution map and sections on Identification, Separation from Similar Species, Vocalisations, Distribution, Breeding Biology, Biometrics and Taxonomic Notes, which include Māori, English and scientific names.

Paul Scofield is the Senior Curator Natural History at Canterbury Museum. He is a leading New Zealand ornithologist. He has watched birds since he was a child in Auckland and has travelled extensively throughout the world studying birdlife from the Arctic to the Antarctic. He currently works on the conservation biology of endangered seabirds and specialises in Albatross and petrel biology. In 2006, he authored a landmark field guide to the Albatross and Petrels of the world. Much of his recent work has been researching the lives of New Zealand’s extinct species and he has been involved in ground breaking work using ancient DNA and the analysis and interpretation of the relationships of the extinct fauna.

Top nature photographer and birding tour leader Brent Stephenson also started a lifelong love affair with birds very young. Brent was one of the first nature photographers to start using digital photography in New Zealand and he has amassed a huge portfolio of images. His main passion is seabirds and this was strengthened by his involvement in the rediscovery of the supposedly extinct New Zealand storm-petrel in 2002, and then in the John Ridgway Save the Albatross Voyage (2003–4), sailing from New Zealand to the Falkland Islands.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Tourism: China Southern Airlines To Fly To Christchurch

China Southern Airlines, in partnership with Christchurch Airport and the South Island tourism industry, has announced today it will begin flying directly between Guangzhou, Mainland China and the South Island. More>>

ALSO:

Dodgy: Truck Shops Come Under Scrutiny

Mobile traders, or truck shops, target poorer communities, particularly in Auckland, with non-compliant contracts, steep prices and often lower-quality goods than can be bought at ordinary shops, a Commerce Commission investigation has found. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport: Government, Council Agree On Funding Approach

The government and Auckland Council have reached a detente over transport funding, establishing a one-year, collaborative timetable for decisions on funding for the city's transport infrastructure growth in the next 30 years after the government refused to fund the $2 billion of short and medium-term plans outlined in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

Bullish On China Shock: Slumping Equities, Commodities May Continue, But Not A GFC

The biggest selloff in stock markets in at least four years, slumping commodity prices and a surge in Wall Street's fear gauge don't mean the world economy is heading for another global financial crisis, fund managers say. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Investors Driving Up Auckland Housing Risk - RBNZ

The growing presence of investors in Auckland's property market is increasing the risks, and is likely to both amplify the housing cycle and worsen the potential damage from a downturn both to the financial system and the broader economy, said Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer. More>>

ALSO:

Annual Record: Overseas Visitors Hit 3 Million Milestone

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand surpassed 3 million for the first time in the July 2015 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The record-breaking 3,002,982 visitors this year was 7 percent higher than the July 2014 year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news