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Made by Toderas Tatiana

The

native flora of New Zealand is unique having evolved in isolation for millions of years. 80% of trees, ferns and flowering plants are endemic (found only in New Zealand). About 1 -15% of the total land area of New Zealand is covered with native flora, from tall kauri and kohekohe forests to rainforest dominated by rimu, beech, tawa, matai and rata; ferns and flax; dunelands with their spinifex and pingao; alpine and subalpine herb fields; and scrub and tussock.

Mnuka

flowers smell very sweet and they provide an important source of pollen and nectar for native bees, flies, moths, beetles and geckos. Chemical tests have shown that mnukas pollen, and honey derived from it, contains powerful insecticides and antibacterial agents that can help fight intestinal worms and bacterial infections.

A nkau palm usually grows about 10-15 metres tall. It is easy to recognise in the bush with its circular trunk, which is ringed with evenly spaced scars from fallen leaves. The fronds are up to three metres in length. The nkau is closely related to the betel nut, the seeds of which are used as a laxative. The centre shoots of nkau can be used in the same way.

Rata

trees, are one of the best known native trees in New Zealand. The trees tend to flower well only once every few years and seem to favour the high rainfall conditions of the West Coast.

Before

humans settled in New Zealand, it would have been an extremely noisy place! Large tracts of lush native bush supported an incredible variety of bird life. As they evolved, wings became unnecessary for some birds, as they had no natural predators to fly away from. As a result, several of New Zealand's native birds became flightless, including the kakapo parrot, the kiwi, the takahe, and the world's largest bird, the (now extinct) moa.

These

are some other well-known New Zealand native birds: 1) The playful kea is one of the most intelligent birds in the world and will happily attack a car in order to steal a windscreen wiper or other bits of rubber!

2)

The loveable weka is a flightless bird with a penchant for shiny objects.

3)

The takahe has a beautiful indigo plumage and bright red beak.

4)

The tui is famed for its beautiful singing and white 'parson's collar'.

5)

The morepork owl is so named because of the sound of its call, often heard at night.

6)

New Zealand's national symbol is a nocturnal flightless bird with nostrils on the end of its large beak and this is kiwi.

The

tuatara is a unique relic of the past - the only beakheaded reptile left in the world. Tuatara can live for over 100 years. . Tuatara are not a threat to humans.

The

small Hector's dolphin is the world's rarest dolphin and only found in New Zealand waters.