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New Zealand Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis)
March 4, 2012

The Brown Teal is a member of the Anas genus – a common group of dabbling ducks which includes mallards, wigeons, shovelers, and pintails. Fossil evidence suggests A. chlorotis was present in new Zealand as recently as 12,000 years ago, making it a post-oligocene drowning arrival. Its closest relatives are the Australian chestnut and grey teals. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology

location: Port Fitzroy, Auckland, New Zealand

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Sundew
January 8, 2012

1. Sun Dew (Drosera spathulata) 2. Although all plants require nitrogen for growth, none have the ability to fix nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, and most depend on bacteria to do the job for them. The Sundew, like other carnivorous plants, have evolved the ability to acquire nitrogen and other nutrients from predation on insects and other small arthropods. This ability allows them to survive in low nutrient soils such as bogs and marshes where this specimen was found. (more...)

tags: Field trip Southland/Otago, Biogeography of New Zealand, Life in Extreme Environments, Conservation Biology

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Marram Grass
January 8, 2012

1. Marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) 2. Maram grass is a non-native New Zealand coastal grass introduced by humans to help stabilize sand dunes. This single introduction has drastically altered the landscape – from sparsely vegetated low lying dunes to steep highly vegetated dunes. A. arenaria’s ability to tolerate high salt levels and survive burial and storm surges has enabled it to out compete and displace native species. 3. A. arenaria is a relatively recent introduced species. (more...)

tags: Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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Stewart Island Weka
January 7, 2012

Weka (Gallirallus australis) – Also known as the woodhen. Roughly the size and build of a large chicken. Four subspecies of Weka are found in New Zealand. The photo taken above is of a Stewart Island Weka (Gallirallus australis scotti), the smallest of the subspecies. The Weka is a New Zealand endemic. A member of the rail family, it’s ancestors are thought to have flown to New Zealand less than 10 MYA (Gibbs 2006) where, like many other New Zealand bird species, it evolved flightlessness. (more...)

tags: Biogeography of New Zealand, Conservation Biology, Field trip Stewart Island

location: Southland, New Zealand

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