"After almost two decades of championing native birds in an annual competition,
Aotearoa is going to begin celebrating its spineless creatures this year.
New Zealand is home to more than 20,000 species of insects and spiders,
representing well over half of all animal diversity. Many are endemic, which
means they have no other home on Earth.
Like Aotearoa’s birds, native invertebrates have evolved largely without
mammals and have filled many ecological niches taken up by mammals elsewhere.
The Entomological Society of New Zealand has launched a Bug of the Year
competition to introduce their wonderful diversity.
The competition also promotes the power of citizen science through
iNaturalistNZ to encourage New Zealanders to contribute simply by posting
images of the critters they see flying or crawling around in their own
backyards or around Aotearoa, whether that’s on the beach, the farm or during
an epic tramp up to a mountain peak.
Scientists can use the data from these observations to learn more about the
patterns, population sizes and ecology of our unique and sometimes threatened
native bugs or new arrivals that might become pests."
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics