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Fiordland National Park, 'A cherished corner of the world where mountains and valleys compete with each other for room, where scale is almost beyond comprehension, rainfall is measured in metres and scenery encompasses the broadest width of emotions'. This is how the author of the book "Mountains of Water - The Story of Fiordland National Park" described this stunning National Park. Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size, and encompasses mountain, lake, fiord and rainforest environments.
The National Park is administered by the Department of Conservation. The variety of habitats in Fiordland support a diverse range of flora and fauna, with many developing in relative isolation leading to a high rate of endemism, or plants and animals that have evolved to be completely unique to this area. The Takahe is an example of a bird that developed to be much larger and flightless compared to its distant cousins in the rail species. The Takahe was in fact thought to be extinct for more than forty years before it was rediscovered in the mountains of Fiordland in 1948. Fiordland was also the final refuge for the world's only flightless parrot the Kakapo. Both of these rare bird species are now part of a recovery programme managed by the Department of Conservation
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