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Conserving Native Birds

New Zealand is world famous for its unique birdlife. In this science story, we look at the issues surrounding the conservation of some of our threatened bird species.

New Zealand birds have evolved in isolation from other countries over millions of years. The arrival of humans in New Zealand brought many threats to these bird species, including the introduction of mammalian predators, vegetation being burned to clear land, which destroyed vast areas of birds’ habitats, and birds being eaten by early settlers.

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Organisation Profile

People Profile

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

John Innes

Nga Manu Nature Reserve

Teaching & Learning Approaches

Science Ideas & Concepts

Classifying bird adaptations

Native bird adaptations

Exploring genetic variation

Predation of native birds

Making a tracking tunnel

Protecting native birds

Ethics in bird conservation

Birds’ role in ecosystems

New Zealand bush ecosystems

Looking Closer

Sci Media Videos

Methods of predator control

Captive management

Endemic, native or introduced?

Ecology of New Zealand

Hamilton Halo – bringing tūī back to Hamilton City

Threats to frogs


Translocating animals

Over a period of time, certain bird species have become critically endangered or extinct as a result of predation and habitat loss. Other bird species have survived because they have been able to adapt to different habitats and diets. Still others exist with the aid of a protected environment.

Conservation is important in maintaining biodiversity, which sustains ecosystems, preventing the loss of genetic material from the gene pool and recognising the value that certain species have to people.

In this science story, we look at the threats to our endemic birds in particular and explore different types of conservation techniques.

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