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"Rare: Creatures of the Photo Ark" - Mainly New Zealand 🇳🇿 Options
Posted: Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:53:07 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Yesterday on another thread I mentioned I would like to learn more about Australia and New Zealand.

Today as I watched on PBS an episode of “Rare: Creatures of Photo Ark” it turned out to be a lot about New Zealand and I’d like to share what I learned. Sorry, I'm not doing photos on TFD right now.

There were sections in this program (#3) about the endangered Rowi Kiwi wild bird that used to roam over thousands of square kilometres and 500 of them are now confined to a tiny forest, Okarito, on the west coast of the southern Island of New Zealand. At one point without intervention they were down to 150 of them. They are the only bird with adapted nostrils at the end of their bill. Their plumage looks more like fur than feathers. The weasel that was brought by humans is to blame for the loss of many flightless birds in NZ. Humans have caused many problems to eco systems by introducing non native species around the world.

In an amazing segment it showed how the eggs of the Rowi Kiwi bird are taken from the nests, the hatchling is taken to another island with no predators, and returned to its habitat when it is old enough to take care of itself. They saved 60 birds in one year. If left alone instead of a 60% survival rate, the rate is 5%.

I got my wish to see landscape and gorgeous scenery of 🇳🇿 New Zealand. I learned about the history of why there are so many flightless birds, how the jungle floors used to be kept clean by special flightless grasshoppers (with lessening numbers as well) until humans arrived with their other animals. He also did two photo shoots of the kakapo bird, which was brought back from near extinction.

He said it is not just about taking photos - it is about teaching about the new science that is happening as they try to save many of their native species and to preserve the photos of the animals for when they do become extinct.

In order to get his 5000 th animal photos he then went to a zoo in Prague and shot photos of one of the at-that-time five remaining northern white rhinos. They were killed for the horns on their head - made from the same substance as our nails - without the medicinal value they claim. They are on their way to extinction. Sad. There are now only three left. It may be too late even for other kinds of rhinos, but they are doing what they can.

Then he did the Budapest zoo - the Persian leopard, only 1000 left in the wild. He got photos of the Syrian brown bear that is extinct in its native country.

It took him ten years to get photos of 5000 species and they figure by 2100 half of them will be extinct. That is why he is so anxious to get these photos. I figured out that that is probably the meaning of the word "Ark" in the title.

The programs are available for download at iTunes - not sure if that is limited to US.
I also saw this on Facebook today - Appreciation News. It makes one realize how important eco systems are when 14 wolves reintroduced can change the course of a river.

“The wolf population in Yellowstone has stabilized at around 100 wolves, currently 104. They have become an important part of the ecosystem. Control of the population threatening the elk in the park and domesticated animal populations outside of it may be required on occasion but maintaining a healthy top predator population in the park is very important.”

If you can get the download about the Ark photos, enjoy. And please add any further info or photos about the subject that you wish.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. Anon
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