Squirrels are not commonly present globally as these furry animals are specifically native to regions having dense forests having large canopies. Moreover, the inhabitants of New Zealand have claimed that they have not seen animals on their island, but it is rich in a variety of birds.
Are There Squirrels in New Zealand? There are no squirrels in New Zealand because they are not evolved in the natural environment and cannot cross the ocean to reach an island. Moreover, it is a land of birds but lacks predator birds to control its population; that’s why it is illegal to introduce them. Furthermore, it is essential to avoid its import to New Zealand to protect native species.
They are not present in many countries, including Hawaii and New Zealand. However, one common thing between these two countries is that they are islands surrounded by water.
Why are there no squirrels in New Zealand?
You cannot find any squirrels in New Zealand as these are not native species and are present in other states of America where it is easy to control their population.
Land of Birds
It is the land of birds because you can see them flying higher in the sky and living in the forests.
No mammals are present in this region, including squirrels, and you can only see bats in this environment.
No serious efforts have been made to introduce the furry animals on this land, which shows the lesser interest of people in adding them to their wildlife.
One of the prominent reasons for the absence of mammals on this island is its size, which has been reducing continuously for a few past years.
Animals need ample space and bigger islands to live in to increase the gene pool. However, it is easy for birds to migrate to other islands when they find them unsuitable for their survival.
Protect native species
The native species of New Zealand have adapted and evolved to the environment that lacks animals and cannot defend itself against newly introduced species.
They cannot respond efficiently to threats caused by imported non-native animals. The insects, birds, and bats are the native species of this country.
Moreover, the natural flora and fauna native to this country have been destroyed a lot after the introduction of rats.
In addition, Kiwi, falcons, dolphins, etc., are commonly present on this island. Therefore, squirrels are not introduced to the island due to the negative impact on the native species.
Presence of a few predators
They have a significant risk of attack from natural predators like hawks, falcons, and eagles. These natural predators suffer from a population decline, and many have been wiped out.
This place has eagles and moas that have a predator-prey relationship, and eagles feed upon these flightless birds.
However, Maori had attacked the food source of hawks and decreased their population resulting in extinction. These people were not native to this country but came from Polynesia.
Accordingly, all the eagles die out when they have nothing to eat as the non-native species consume their prey.
Decrease in forest cover
About 35% to 38% of the land area in New Zealand is covered with forests that account for almost 8 to 10 million hectares. Deforestation has reduced the forest cover from nearly 50% to 54%.
Squirrels prefer to live in forests; that’s why they cannot accommodate the environment of this country even if they are imported into this place.
In addition, they pose a risk to the survival of the wildlife and turn the status of multiple species to endangered and extinct.
Illegal to introduce
The government managing wildlife and ensuring its protection has proposed a list of organisms that are strictly prohibited from introducing on the island.
Their priority is to conserve their native wildlife than importing new species to their land.
It is considered illegal to introduce squirrels and snakes in New Zealand for different purposes like testing, free release, and import.
Therefore, no one dares to bring these furry animals into this region, making it a land free of animals.
What animals are not found in New Zealand?
You cannot find a wide variety of animals in the land of birds as it is occupied by massive birds that have adapted to the environment.
Most probably, you have heard that New Zealand is snake free country; that is true because they cannot make their way to reach an island.
Some dangerous animals are not allowed to introduce into New Zealand’s wildlife as they can threaten the survival of these birds. Similarly, they are not present in Hawaii.
Snakes are not common in this region as their poison is deadly for wildlife that can be responsible for turning the status of any species to an endangered.
In addition, spiders are also a threat due to their deadly nature, and creepy crawling animals can also kill other birds and directly affect their wildlife.
The killer jellyfish is also not commonly present in this region as this environment does not support their survival.
Furthermore, you can only find bats with long or short tails on this island, in addition to insects, lizards, and frogs.
Are Red Squirrels Present in New Zealand?
Many people have heard about the presence of red squirrels as the only type of furry animal that is present in this region.
A picture of red squirrels is displayed in an exhibition to show a different type of animal to the native people that is not common on their island.
The talons, teeth, and the scientific name mentioned indicating the taxidermy help identify them as red squirrels.
Many inhabitants of New Zealand have not seen any type of roaming squirrels around them, but they can identify such animals as they saw them in pictures at an exhibition.
Furthermore, you cannot expect to see them in this country because the native people and government do not allow these animals to interfere in their wildlife and disrupt it.
What Happens When a Squirrel Loses Its Tail?