What makes the 'edge ecology' internationally important ......
New Zealand was one of the last places on Earth colonized by humans, with one of the worst biological losses. Unique ecological events occurred during the archipelago's 80 million year isolation from the rest of the world, after the Zealandia continent broke away from the Gondwana super-continent.
As mammals developed in most places, New Zealand's exceptionally odd ecology evolved with three bats as the only land mammals. With the world's most extensive collection of flightless birds, 80 percent endemism in plants, gigantism in insects, and prehistoric living fossils preceding dinosaurs, the country is a biological treasure chest.