New Zealand

Australasia is renowned for their unique and unusual animals, and their birdlife is no exception. In Australasia you can see birds like Emus, Cassowaries and Logrunners. Australia and New Zealand are endemism hotspots, with 71% of New Zealand’s birds being unique to the islands. This is largely because they have been separated from other continents...

By Kristin Arakawa It’s flightless. It’s nocturnal. It’s the world’s heaviest parrot. It’s possibly the world’s oldest living bird. It has a low-frequency mating ‘boom’ that can travel several kilometers. It has a sweet scent, similar to honey. This is how the New Zealand Department of Conservation describes the Kākāpō, a charismatic parrot species found...

The Genographic Team has been in New Zealand this week, working with people of Pacific as well as European and other heritages to trace their genetic history.  Each person does this  by just rubbing a cotton swab inside his or her cheek. We will then take the tiny resulting DNA sample and compare it with...

Kia ora, or Hello from Gisborne, a small city on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Just west of the International date line, Gisborne claimed for years to be the first city in the world to see each new day’s sunrise, but for political reasons the title is now held by...

While we are working to clear Antipodes Island of mice, I recently learnt that one of New Zealand’s most important Nature Reserves, Maud Island, has been invaded by mice. Maud Island is a 318 hectare island in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds of the South Island of New Zealand. In late October 2013 biosecurity surveillance on...

By James Owen The only praying mantis native to New Zealand has developed a fatal attraction for a cannibal invader whose females devour its mates after sex, scientists report. Males of the New Zealand mantis (Orthodera novaezealandiae) are being seduced into serving themselves up as meals to females of the springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra), a...

Nearly 100 years ago a shipwreck brought mice to the hard-to-reach Antipodes Islands just north of the Antarctic circle. Fast forward to today and the mice have devastated the island’s native species. National Geographic Grantee James Russell will embark on a four-week expedition, where the team will study the island’s natural resources to determine if...

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! HOUR 1 In the course of riding 5,000 miles through New...