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New Zealand Natural History Pt1 OP 09
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New Zealand Natural History Pt1 OP 09


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  • 1. New Zealand Natural History A brief over view of the natural systems in Aotearoa - New Zealand Hillary Jenkins, Otago Polytechnic 2008
  • 2. Objective
    • To gain a basic knowledge of the natural history systems which occur in New Zealand
    • To understand the importance of those systems as a tourism resource and what they represent in today’s world
  • 3. We will look at 2 parts:
    • Part 1
    • Gondwanaland
    • Basic New Zealand Geology
    • Climate and climatic zones
    • Part 2
    • Indigenous Flora and Fauna
    • What is happening in today’s world
  • 4. Objective
  • 5. Gondwanaland Geology and Climate
  • 6. Part 1: Gondwanaland
    • Ancient Southern super-continent
    • Included India, Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica as one big landmass
    • Dates back 100 million years
    • Big Bang theory
    • Continental Drift - shifting landmasses to locations as we know them today
  • 7. New Zealand’s Basic Geology
    • Drifted away from Gondwanaland 100million years ago
    • Sits upon the Pacific Ring of Fire - Volcanoes and hot springs
    • Great Alpine Fault Line
    • Lots of small earthquakes and the occasional big one
    • Glaciations
    • Mountain building
    • Rock types and Fossils
  • 8. Pacific Ring of Fire
  • 9. alpinefault
  • 10. Climate
    • Unique geography
    • Long thin islands with mountains reaching 3700 metres above sea level
    • Entirely surrounded by ocean
    • Roaring 40’s latitude
    • Precipitation range from 20cm to 7m per yr
    • = a diverse range of climatic zones
  • 11. Climatic Zones
    • New Zealand’s main climatic zones:
      • High Alpine
      • Alpine
      • Temperate
      • Sub Tropical
      • Coastal
  • 12. SO…What does all this mean for the inhabitants of New Zealand???
    • New Zealand drifted away early taking with it the species of the time – Moa’s Ark
    • Long time isolated so our indigenous species are a snap shot of ancient times
    • Harsh and diverse climates, plants and animals need to be specially adapted for survival
    • Dramatic impact with introduction of new species once man arrived
  • 13. Lets take a closer look at the features of the different climatic zones …
  • 14. High Alpine Zone Very cold temperatures, high precipitation, often covered in snow or ice, no soil, all rock, between 1800metres and 3700metres above sea level, very few birds and insects
  • 15. Photo by Nicky Snoyink
  • 16. Alpine zone Often cold and wet, maybe covered with snow for part of the year, between 900 metres and 1800 metres above sea level, some soil, few plants, no trees, few birds and insects
  • 17. Photo by Nicky Snoyink
  • 18. Temperate Zone Average to high precipitation, moderate to cold temperatures, some snow, some dry areas, between 400 and 900 metres above sea level though this varies depending on its proximity to the glaciers, reasonably good soil, some forests, birds and insects
  • 19. Photo by Nicky Snoyink
  • 20. Sub Tropical Zone Warm climates, rarely frosty, closer the ocean, mostly coastal North Island and small part of Northern Westland, good soil, great diversity of plant and animal life
  • 21. Photo by Nicky Snoyink
  • 22. Coastal Zone The unique coastal regions of New Zealand containing, sand dunes, estuaries, river mouths, coastal forest, ranging in temperatures and rainfall depending on the location in the country.
  • 23. Photo by Nicky Snoyink
  • 24. The End Photos by Nicky Snoyink