nzbirds  >    birding (in New Zealand) :
NZ Birding background & history
To appreciate bird watching 
in New Zealand one has to understand a little of New Zealand's background and history.

The destruction of New Zealand's lowland bush, which began with the arrival of the Polynesians a thousand years ago and was accelerated by the arrival of Europeans a couple of hundred years ago, brought about the demise of many of New Zealand's unique birds, such as the Moa and the Huia. Although New Zealand is still a heavily forested country in the remote and mountainous areas, these forests are infested with introduced animals such as goats, deer, rats and the Australian brush tailed possum, that pose a real threat to New Zealand's remaining endemic birds.

Until recently, it was thought that the only way to preserve New Zealand's unique bird life was to re-establish them on pest free offshore islands. This idea has now been extended to create "mainland islands" within the vast conservation estate. Hopefully this strategy will reverse the decline. Certainly it is New Zealand's biodiversity strategy to reverse the decline by the year 2020.