Had another interesting meeting today! Met with our marine team and learned all about the initiatives they are currently working on as well as the plans for this coming year.
Just like their terrestrial landscape, New Zealand has a unique and particularly rich marine flora and fauna. There are roughly 65,000 known and unknown species and the level of endemism, at 44%, is particularly high, making the New Zealand marine region a hot spot of marine diversity worldwide.
Several ocean currents collide near the southern tip of the South Island of New Zealand as cold water from Antarctica mixes with temperate water from the western Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. These conditions enable a diverse variety of species. Some penguins (yellow-eyed) nest in the rain forest here, and (as I mentioned in my previous posting) it is the richest area for seabirds in the world! Because of all this the Australasian marine ecoregion is on WWF-International’s Global 200 list. This is a science-based global ranking of the Earth’s most biologically outstanding terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats and provides a blueprint for biodiversity conservation at a global scale. These regions have essentially been identified to ensure that WWF’s conservation efforts around the world contribute to a global biodiversity strategy.
Gotta cut this one short but hope you enjoyed it!