Map of the World in 1000 BC

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No problem, I was briefly a ranger for one of New Zealand’s national parks and take every opportunity to ramble on about it’s unique ecosystem.

Also while humans were the direct cause of some extinctions (such as the huge flightless [Moa](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moa) which was hunted to extinction before European contact) much of the devastation was caused indirectly. Small mammals such as Stoats thrived without any natural predators and found the relatively defenseless native birds easy prey. Efforts have been made to wipe out these introduced pests on some small islands off the mainland in order to create a safe habitat for threatened native species.

The native flora hasn’t had an easy time either, with widespread destruction caused by the introduction of Possums from Australia in the 19th century (the British brought them over to create a fur trapping industry). It’s not uncommon to see roads littered with Possum carcasses as people will intentionally swerve to hit them in order to help the huge national effort to contain their numbers. While their numbers have dropped by around 50% in the last 30 years estimates put the current Possum population at 30 million, that’s almost 10 possums for every human on the islands! Ironically the Brushtail Possum is now a protected species in it’s native Australia.

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