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Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms - the different plants, animals, micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems on land or in water where they live.

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New Zealand's biodiversity is internationally important because a large proportion of the species are endemic, occurring only in this country.

That means if they are lost here, they are lost to the world, unlike many species in other countries.

In New Zealand, about

  • 90% of New Zealand insects,
  • 80% of trees, ferns and flowering plants,
  • 25% of bird species,
  • all 60 reptile species,
  • four remaining species of frogs and
  • two species of bat,

are found nowhere else on earth!

This is remarkable internationally; Britain, in contrast, has only two endemic species, one plant and one animal.