Our world of nature

Fairy terns, strong trees, lifetime companions and more…

Good news for the fairy tern. It’s one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and, despite protection from a committed volunteer group, DOC and the NZ Defence Force, it’s still close to extinction. The fairy tern or tara-iti has fewer than 40 adults alive. Now, with news of seven new births, the population is on the rise. After only two chicks reaching the fledgling stage after the last breeding season this comes as great news for the critically endangered bird.

Strong roots. This incredible photo after the flooding in Gore has now been seen around the world. While a truly awful time for all involved it shows just nature can both destroy and protect. The power of the flood to lift and carry this 12.1 metre metal container for over a kilometre would have been tremendous. Even so, this impressive tree stopped it. Key lesson – let’s plant more trees!

Science proves it? Is this yet another good reason to get a dog? According to research analysis from close to 4 million people in six countries (including New Zealand), owning a dog will lower your risk of dying early by 24%. Now, there is a huge amount of correlating factors to consider when assessing how valid this number is. Is it the act of owning a dog (helping loneliness, social isolation etc) or is it the behaviours associated with ownership that matter (exercise from dog walking, having enough money to buy food etc). The results of the observational study cannot ‘prove’ that dog ownership will help you live longer. But why take the chance?

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