Faunal Diversity Of Otago, New Zealand
New Zealand has a distinctive fauna, thanks to its long isolation. The most interesting types of animals are the birds, some of which were destroyed after the arrival of humans, who brought some other mammals with them. The Otago Peninsula is considered as one of the places where some of the most precious animals in New Zealand live, which makes it one of the finest examples of faunal diversity.
Here are some of the animal species, which the Otago Peninsula is famous for being a home to.
The Little Blue Penguins – Kokoa (Eudyptula Minor)
The Little Blue Penguin is also known as Kokoa. It lives in the region of South Australia and New Zealand, and especially on the Otago Peninsula. The colour of the animal’s back is dark blue to black, and its abdominal part is light-grey to white. The species is first described in 1781.
The little blue penguin lives in large colonies. It eats mainly small fish such as anchovies, squid, plankton and krill. They also eat crab larvae, seahorses and crustaceans from the seabed. This type of penguin is found in the southern hemisphere only. It prefers warm water and is known as the smallest penguin species, which reaches a height of 35-40 cm and weights only about 1 kg.
Yellow Eyed Penguin – Hoiho (Megadyptes antipodus)
The Yellow Eyed Penguin is considered the rarest penguin species nowadays. It nests on the southern coasts of New Zealand, and especially on the Steward, Auckland, Campbell Islands and the Otago Peninsula. It lives in families, who are unique in their habitat and behaviour.
The height of the Yellow Eyed Penguin reaches 83 cm. These birds do not live in colonies, but nest in pairs. Usually, young penguins lay an egg per year, and the older ones almost always lay two eggs annually. This type of penguin is usually recognized by the golden-shaped crown on its head. The breast’s colouration of these birds is grey-blue on the back and their abdominal part is white. The young birds are grey, and the “babies” are covered with thick dark-brown fluffy feathers.
Different types of Cormorants – Spotten Shags mainly
Thanks to the unique coastline of the Otago Peninsula and its amazing cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, different types of cormorants have chosen the place for their nesting place.
Cormorants are relatively large birds. They have different colours depending on the type, but most cormorants are black with green metallic shine on their feathers. Some species also have white feathers on both sides of their heads. These birds nest in small colonies or in pairs, making their nest on some inaccessible rock ledges, small caves and rock cavities close to the shore, which explains why the Otago Peninsula is a preferred nesting place of the species.
Author Bio: Jack is traveller and explorer. He works as a manager of http://www.perfectcleaning.org.uk/ and loves to travel.