Well, my fellow travel companions, our haiku endangered species journey is coming to an end. Today we land in West Africa and then travel far, far away to the southern hemisphere, and the island of New Zealand. Y and Z have something very unusual in common. See if you can spot it.
Large flightless southern diver.
Penguins are one of the most ancient families of birds. They have been on earth for 60 million years. These flightless birds have short, stubby flippers, dense waterproof feathers and a sleek, streamlined shape, making them well adapted for swimming in the cold sub-Antarctic and Antarctic seas where most species of penguin live.
The yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho, is the fourth largest penguin in the world and grows up to 65 cm tall and weigh 5 to 6 kg. The name hoiho is Maori for “noise shouter” because its piercing calls can be heard over the crashing waves. Its scientific name Megadyptes antipodes means “large southern diver”. It has a yellow bright yellow stripe that goes around its eye and around the back of the head. It also has bright pink feet!??Hoiho are endemic to New Zealand and are a threatened species. They are only found around the south-east of the South Island, on Stewart Island, Auckland island and Campbell island.
In the last 50 years many trees in the forest are have been cut down on the New Zealand coast. This has reduced their habitat and forced them into nesting in tall grasses. There have been many new predators introduced also, such as cats dogs and ferrets. It is estimated there are only 1500 breeding pairs left in the world. This is the rarest of all the penguins.
into undergrowth to flee.
Striped, horned and fruity.
The Zebra Duiker is named for the 12 to 15 black bands that, like a zebra, stretch down its back. It is a diminutive antelope with a short, stocky body. Its coat colour varies from light gold to a reddish-brown, with a pale cream underside. Another distinctive feature is the lack of a tuft on the forehead, which most other duiker species possess. Both males and females grow short, tapering horns which are used to defend their territory, and although females are generally larger than the males, the male possesses longer horns. The name ‘duiker’ is the Afrikaans word for ‘diver’ or ‘diving buck’ and refers to the flight of the antelope into the undergrowth when disturbed. The diet of the this duiker consists primarily of fruit, alongside a variety of leaves, buds, shoots and grasses. Often unable to reach fruit in the trees, the small zebra duiker instead takes advantage of fruit dropped onto the forest floor by other animals that feed in the trees. The skull of the zebra duiker has a hard frontal bone, which it uses to crack apart hard-to-open fruits.
The zebra duiker is most common in eastern-central Liberia, although it also occurs throughout Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. They are very sensitive to habitat destruction and prefer to live in areas that have not been disturbed by deforestation, their main threat. The IUCN site states that over the last 15 years, the little antelope’s population has fallen as much as 30 %.