Living World

In search of the Grey Ghost

The South Island kōkako is widely believed to have died out a half century ago, but some committed bird experts are convinced there are signs a few remain: disturbed moss, glimpses of grey wings and orange wattles, an occasional haunting call. Yet despite decades scouring southern forests, the kōkako has remained elusive—a single feather is the closest the searchers may have come to proving the bird still exists.



Jul-Aug 2016

South Island kōkako

Wilderness Areas

Humpback migration

Rock forests



Living World

The humpback highway

The migration of Oceania's humpback whales, and their final destination in Antarctica, has remained shrouded in mystery. This year, a team of scientists travelled north to intercept and track the whales travelling south. What they discovered only made the great migration more intriguing.


Eden in Auckland

One of the rarest ecologies in the world is hiding in plain sight, in the centre of the most central suburb of the largest city in New Zealand. Of more than 5000 hectares of rock forest that once shrouded the lava boulderfields of the Auckland isthmus, only tiny remnants survive, totalling just 29 hectares. Welcome to the secret world of the city’s last rock forest.

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