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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Incredible Journeys: New Zealand wildlife on the move by Ned Barraud

In Incredible Journeys: New Zealand wildlife on the move, Ned Barraud introduces children to twelve amazing animals who travel for thousands of kilometres to find food, select a mate, breed, and raise their young. We don’t often see them because most of the time they are on the go or stay hidden.

While we humans have had to put our international travel on hold because of COVID they continue on their way.

The bar-tailed godwit (kuaka) is a record holder. It makes the longest non-stop flight of any bird on earth, flying without any rest or inflight snacks along the way for 12000 km across the Pacific Ocean.

Some birds travel unaccompanied from a very young age. When Black Petrel (Tāiko) fledglings clumsily climb up trees to launch off, some crash land and must try again before joining the other young ones on their very first flight, an epic 12,000 kilometres near the Galāpagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

While some animals fly, others crawl along the ocean floor like Crayfish (kōura), or swim like the Leatherback Sea turtle (honu), a very old reptile who has been around since the dinosaurs. Some have been tracked making journeys of over 19,000 kilometres.

It is only recent years that scientists have been able to map the journeys of migratory species using modern technology such as satellite tagging. Maps showing these journeys (not in a specific but in a general way) have been included for each animal.

It is tragic that some of these amazing animals are becoming endangered because they are impacted by the actions of humans. Even the fearsome White Shark (Māngo), an apex predator, is a vulnerable species. Many of these die in fishing nets every year.

In his realistic illustrations Ned Barraud has very skillfully captured the movement of albatrosses soaring and gliding, crayfish crawling along the bottom of the ocean, tuna eels drifting with ocean currents and butterflies blown over from Australia by the wind.

The stories about each species are brief and include just a few fascinating facts about each species. So Primary school students will be able to read this book for themselves

It is an excellent introduction to our migratory wildlife and the incredible journeys they make.

Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Potton & Burton


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