Flora and fauna - NZ
New Zealand, which stands on the convergence of the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, is subject to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Because of its remoteness from any other landmass, the country is unique in both flora and fauna. Before settlement, which began about a millennium ago, there were no native mammals, but an abundance of birds, many of them flightless, some of them migratory. Some of the larger birds – the flightless moa and the giant eagle – died out before the Europeans arrived, but since the introduction of European flora and fauna, many plants and birds have become extinct or are on the verge of extinction.
Vulcanology, the disappearance of species, and aspects of birdsong and flight are addressed by a number of composers, either through actual imitation or by abstraction.
Other native creatures that have inspired composers are the tuatara (the only surviving dinosaur in the world), whales, and cicadas.