Evolution Islands — showcasing our natural world

Department of Conservation —  26/05/2018

‘New Zealand: Evolution Islands’ has been 18 months in the making, presented by our very own Nic Toki, and featuring our staff from all over the country.

The Discovery Channel programme airs Sundays at 8.30pm on Sky Channel 70.

From searching the Oparara Basin for moa bones, to swimming with seven-gilled sharks; this six-part nature documentary series is a hit in New Zealand, as well as places like the UK, Europe, South America and Australia.

Each week, our Threatened Species Ambassador Nic Toki travels around the country to remote and spectacular locations meeting scientists and adventurers along the way, including DOC people working with tuatara, giant wētā on Little Barrier Island/Hauturu, and short-tailed bats in the Central North Island.

Fitting a transmitter to a short-tailed bat during filming.

Fitting a transmitter to a short-tailed bat during filming

Nic says the show is highlighting the science involved in protecting our threatened species.

“Millions of people from around the world have had an up-close encounter with our team, and some amazing species thanks to this show.

“It’s a great example of how valuable storytelling can be as a tool to explain some of our more complex work for everyday New Zealanders,”

Nic Toki with a short-tailed bat.

Nic Toki with a short-tailed bat

One of Nic’s filming highlights was an intimate encounter on Little Barrier Island/Hauturu with a rare wētāpunga – the largest species of giant wētā.

‘‘While I was talking to a ranger, an enormous female wētā climbed up my arm and actually up my face.

‘‘She had one leg in my mouth and one in my eyeball. To me that’s more exciting than going to a rock concert.’’

The rare wētāpunga opts for a close-up with Nic Toki.

The rare wētāpunga opts for a close-up with Nic Toki


The fourth episode of ‘New Zealand: Evolution Islands’ will screen this Sunday at 8.30pm on Discovery, Sky Channel 70. Check it out if you can!

One response to Evolution Islands — showcasing our natural world

  1. 
    pamela pope 26/05/2018 at 7:58 am

    We don’t have Sky so will have to miss out. What a pity, I would hope this would be available to all New Zealand.