Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Zealand's remote Kermadec Islands marine reveal their secrets

Otoya dew. Sydney (Australia) .- The remote Kermadec Islands, New Zealand, considered one of the last wild frontiers of the planet, hiding a rich marine biodiversity through a mix of temperate and tropical waters also unique in the world. To the archipelago of thirteen volcanic islands, of nearly 7,500 square kilometers and located a thousand miles northeast of the mainland, recently moved a group of local and Australian scientists to find new fauna and flora.

The expedition made public the discovery of dozens of species, including such rare and never before seen in the area such as zebra lionfish. On board the ship Braveheart and led by marine biologist Tom Trnski, curator of Auckland Museum, scientists began to publish in an internet blog each new discovery until a total of 80 fish and plants.

In his first week under an overcast sky and Kermadec Expedition located in these waters to zebra lionfish, hitherto unknown in New Zealand. This fish, scientific name "zebra Dendrochirus, has brightly colored scales and irregular shapes and sharp blades and poisons. It measures about 30 inches long and lives in shallow coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, and although divers fear the sting of their fins, is one of the most coveted specimens for home aquariums.

But this is not the only secret marine researchers have unveiled the Kermadec Islands. "Every dive gives us the possibility of finding new creatures on the islands and New Zealand, and possibly new to science," said the head of the issue. The surprises aboard the Braveheart do not cease: for example, a few days ago scientists found an eel that no one could identify.

"May be a new species, but will not know until we finish the trip and send the specimen to an expert to confirm their identity, "said Trnski. The island group has a unique and fragile ecosystem, threatened animals and plants introduced by early European settlers, and shipwrecked as goats, rats, cats and grass Mysore sandalwood, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

They are also habitat for 35 bird species, five of which are endemic petrel or parakeet Kermadec red head. The sea surrounding the archipelago is also a dream for diving enthusiasts for its unique mix of temperate and tropical waters that are home to countless species of plants and fish.

Sea life ranging from tiny plankton, turtles and corals to whales, dolphins, grouper and sharks. The territory is a laboratory that can account for the evolution of some species' ecological niches untouched by humans for millions of years, "said Warren Chinn, an expert on invertebrates of the expedition.

The islands were uninhabited until a thousand years ago, when they came here the first settlers of Polynesian origin, followed by Maori (indigenous New Zealand) and finally the Europeans who settled in the early eighteenth century whaling port. Gradually, the authorities began to realize the value of life under the surface: in 1934 were declared nature reserve and marine sanctuary in 1990 to protect the rich marine biodiversity.

No comments:

Post a Comment