New Zealand – Forest of the Giants – Aarti

New Zealand – Forest of the Giants – Aarti

Nature + travel, landscape photo

New Zealand – Forest of the Giants

New Zealand has old-growth forests, natural remnants of the vast expanse of forest that once covered the archipelago. In these parts of the primary forest, ancient trees impress, some as old as the cathedrals of Europe: totara, matai, rimu, kuri or rata – all have undergone many changes. 90 percent of tree species are found only here and nowhere else on earth. With human settlement only 700 years ago, the area and settlement of forests has been greatly reduced. There are now only a few protected forests left – bastions against deforestation and species extinction. Giant trees observe a unique ecosystem from 50 meters high. Epiphytes take root on their branches, and colonies of long-nosed bats settle in their hollow trunks. But can primeval trees escape man-made threats this time around, too? Invasive species, forest fragmentation and parasitism – not to mention global warming – are making the future look bleak. Out of love for ‘their trees’, scientists, rangers and local authorities campaign to protect them and explain their plans to protect ancient forests and breathe new life into them.

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