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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




New Zealand is one of the few countries of the world where the history of the acclimatisation of various foreign plants and animals can be recorded with any degree of accuracy. Records of the wildlife of the islands of New Zealand at the time of the visits of early European explorers are reasonably accurate and, although the records of introductions since the commencement of European settlement of the country are by no means complete, they are sufficient to enable us to draw a fairly accurate picture of the changes which have occurred. Because of long isolation from the nearest land masses, New Zealand possessed a remarkable and unique fauna which has since been greatly modified and altered by man and his activities.


Janet Fay Swann, M.A., formerly of Wildlife Branch, Department of Internal Affairs.

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