Nightfall, and the forest comes alive with squeaking. Or it used to. Lesser short-tailed bats are clinging on in a handful of places, their populations blinking out of existence. Yet researchers are only just beginning to learn about our bat species—New Zealand’s only native mammals—and what they’re finding out is pretty weird.
Covid-19 likely came from a bat, so let's get to know the critter that got us into this mess.
Reaching more than six metres in length with a bite force of nearly two tonnes, the great white shark is the most fearsome predator on Earth. Yet despite their reputation as maneaters, great whites are protected in New Zealand as a vulnerable species.
Only in New Zealand do Orca families cooperatively - and ingeniously - hunt rays.
Orca are at the top of the food chain in Northland's sun-kissed harbours.
Like New Zealanders, penguins occupy the margin of land and sea, being dependent on both habitats, and vulnerable to changes in either as well. Their fate is wedded to our coasts, and as scientists have begun to understand, they are a perfect indicator of the health of this fragile boundary too. What can penguins tell us about our seas and shores?
Try one of these penguin craft activities together...
Everyone needs a place to quench their thirst, even bumblebees...
Unaffected by Varroa, tolerant of cold and able to pollinate in enclosed spaces, bumblebees offer new hope for New Zealand’s primary industries. If only we knew how to build a nest they wanted to live in…
Bumblebees don't make honey. And they hibernate in a nest! Let's learn about them...
This is why New Zealand holds the Americas Cup.
The creatures of New Zealand’s oldest marine reserve are safe from humans, but that doesn’t mean life is easy. They are under constant attack from marauding dolphins, diving cormorants, and the sharks and the marlin that live beyond the boundaries of the reserve.
A Sunday inside is not a Sunday wasted... he's some stuff for families to do, Together at Home...
Last October, Chris and Jorinde Rapsey and their two children set off from Cape Reinga to walk Te Araroa, the 3000-kilometre track that runs the length of New Zealand. They lived outdoors for five months and walked an average of 20 kilometres a day. For nine-year-old Elizabeth and six-year-old Johnny, it was an immersive education—a form of learning increasingly absent from the lives of young New Zealanders, even as international research affirms the importance of children spending time in nature.
The first weekend in a new world, locked-down, but no less awesome.
More responses from students of life to the kākāpō colouring challenge!
In a land renowned for its unusual birds, the kākāpō—a giant flightless nocturnal parrot with a bizarre breeding system—has to be one of the strangest.
Responses from kids to the clay starfish challenge.
Little Blue Penguins run the gauntlet to escape great white sharks—but they’re not the only species flirting with death on New Zealand’s famous Stewart Island.
Watch the video, chat with our talking points, and make clay starfish and yummy crackers!
Many of our skinks and geckos are so new to science that they don’t even have names. Much of what we do know about our lizards is thanks to an amateur herpetologist from Invercargill with no academic training.
Our smallest lock-downers respond to Day 2 with pictures and poems.
For those of you not flat out like a lizard drinking, here are some things to discuss and activities to keep you busy.
Rowi are a species of kiwi so critically restricted in distribution that they were almost done for. But a last-ditch effort has changed the fortunes of the most imperilled kiwi in the world.