Before there was New Zealand, geologists say there was Zealandia, a low
lying continent half as big as Australia. On today's maps, the islands
of New Zealand are at the bottom of the world, isolated from all other
land by their surrounding oceans. But it wasn't always that way.
In the early days after the island country was formed, its bird life had no mammalian predators. So the birds, flora and fauna thrived in the way the nature intended and included species that could be found nowhere else on earth.
The predators introduced by humans about 700 years ago upset the balance of nature, destroying some species and nearly destroying others. Zealandia, two-thirds the size of New York's Central Park, is an enclosed protected sanctuary with the goal of restoring that balance. The sanctuary is enclosed by a seven foot high five miles of fine mesh possum fencing that goes nearly 16 inches into the ground to keep out climbing, jumping and digging animals.
Below are some of the birds, flora and fauna found in Zealandia.
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