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Over 80% of New Zealand was once blanketed in native forests of tall evergreen and hardwood trees such as kauri, rata, rimu and podocarpus species. Today, indigenous forests cover around 25% of New Zealand, often in patches and fragments outside of protected areas. Where these forest ecosystems still exist intact they support unique flora and fauna communities, including many endemic bird species such as kererū wood pigeons, kākā parrots, fantails and tui.
Logging and land clearance have taken their toll on much of New Zealand’s native forests and the biodiversity found in them. This has had the greatest impact on lowland forests, significantly reducing some forest types. Today the greatest threats to New Zealand’s indigenous forests come from damage caused by the spread of invasive species, the fragmentation of forest habitats, and the lack of intact forest buffers between them.