Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dunedin and Otago

I visited Dunedin in 1993, as we had wanted to visit the Albatross Colony, the only one in the world. 

Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago Region.  The harbour and hills around Dunedin are the remnants of an extinct volcano, and its skyline is dominated by a ring of (traditionally seven) hills which form the remnants of a volcanic crater.
Albatross chick at Taiaroa Head, Dunedin , South Island, New Zealand. Photo Image © DunedinNZ.com
Dunedin is the farthest city in the world, and is home to Baldwin Street, which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the steepest residential street in the world.

Quirky Dunedin Facts

  • Dunedin is the Celtic name for Edinburgh.
  • The only mainland breeding colony of the Northern Royal Albatross, large majestic seabirds with a wingspan of thee metres, is at the Otago Peninsula.
  • Dunedin, and its surrounds, is home to some interesting locals, including the world’s rarest penguin - the yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand sea lions, New Zealand fur seals and little blue penguins.
  • Larnach Castle located on the Otago Peninsula is New Zealand’s only castle.
  • Dunedin Railway Station is the most photographed building in New Zealand.
  • University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest university was the first in the country to admit women to all its classes. It is also the South Island’s largest employer
The Royal Albatross Centre is located on the tip of the Otago Peninsula, about a 45 minute drive from Dunedin.
Alabatross Colony, Dunedin , South Island, New Zealand.
Photo Image © Royal Albatross Centre
Albatrosses are among the largest of flying sea birds, and the great albatrosses have the largest wingspans of any extant birds, reaching up to 12 feet. They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific, and are absent from the North Atlantic, although fossil remains show they once occurred there too and occasional vagrants are found.

Of the 21 species of albatrosses recognised by the IUCN, 19 are threatened with extinction. Numbers of albatrosses have declined in the past due to harvesting for feathers, but today the albatrosses are threatened by introduced species such as rats and feral cats that attack eggs, chicks and nesting adults; by pollution; by a serious decline in fish stocks in many regions largely due to overfishing; and by long-line fishing. Long-line fisheries pose the greatest threat, as feeding birds are attracted to the bait, become hooked on the lines, and drown.
Alabatross Colony, Dunedin , South Island, New Zealand. 
Photo Image © Royal Albatross Centre

No comments: