‘Kereru’ Painting – New Zealand’s Last Pigeon
March 22, 2012 § 4 Comments
Once it was the Moa and New Zealand’s pigeons that ate the large forest fruits whole, digesting the pulp and dispersing seeds. Now all that is left is the Kereru, the last pigeon. Without the Kereru, New Zealand’s native podocarp-broad-leaf forests would no longer contain the diverse range of species they do. Among others iconic to low-land forests, the Karaka, Puriri, Nikau and Cabbage Tree would be absent from regenerating areas.
It could have happened. The Kereru is now classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list of threatened species (http://www.iucnredlist.org/). For many years it was Endangered. Like the Moa, New Zealand’s extinct flightless bird, the Kereru was good to eat and its feathers were of use. Now the main pressure is introduced predators. It is just one in a long list of birds confronted by predators it has not evolved to cope with.
For more information on this beautiful pigeon go to http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation/native-animals/birds/land-birds/nz-pigeon-kereru/
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