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Bounty Islands

Main attractions

Erect-crested penguin shown in the forefront
Erect-crested penguin shown in the forefront, yellow-eyed penguin in the background. / J.G.Keulemans, from W.L. Buller's A History of the Birds of New Zealand. The second edition. Published 1888.

Bounty Islands are a group of small granite islands 660 km south east from the South Island, New Zealand.

Rich bird life and unique invertebrates

In spite of their small size (largest island is 700 m across and total area of islands is 135 ha) on these barren cliffs live several endemic animals.

Bounty Islands Shag (Phalacrocorax ranfurlyi) is living only on these inhospitable cliffs, number of individual birds: 600 - 1,100.

Here, on those tiny islands are breeding almost half of world's erect-crested penguins (Eudyptes sclateri) - in 1978 there were even 115,000 pairs breeding: one penguin per every 6 m². As if this is not enough here breed almost all Salvin's Albatrosses (Thalassarche salvini) - some 60,000 birds as well as other birds.

Also the seal population is recovering after the slaughter of the 19th century.

Other endemics are: spiders Orepukia nummosa, Pacificana cockayni, 2 specimens of a flightless beetle Lichenobius maritimus, carabid beetle Bountya inisularis, darkling beetle Pseudhelops liberalis, fly Aphrosylopsis lineata, wasp Antarctopria diomedeae, cave weta Ischyroplectron isolatum, barkfly Sandrapsocus clarki, flea Parapsyllus magellanicus largificus.

Thus Bounty Islands themselves represent a landmark - unique ecosystem.

List of described attractions

Map of Bounty Islands

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