In Te Wao Nui, The Islands represents these accidental sanctuaries and highlights the active efforts to create new ones. Antipodes Island parakeets exemplify the adaptive qualities of the animals who called these islands home. The tuatara resides here too, an iconic New Zealander who still needs our help to survive. Some smaller inhabitants of The Islands require a bit of patience to find, these include the Falla’s skink, Elegant gecko, Goldstripe gecko and more.
For centuries, isolation gave New Zealand’s incredible plant and animal species protection from progress and the threat of extinction. That changed very quickly when humans began their migration to these shores as habitats were decimated and populations dwindled or disappeared.
Tiny, rugged islands, scattered off New Zealand’s coastline would provide some hope. Too harsh for humans, too far away for pests, these islands became accidental sanctuaries for many species that had vanished from the mainland. In recent years, they have provided inspiration for conservationists who continue to eradicate pests from more and more islands to create safe havens for our animals.