Canterbury University Press, Quarto, laminated boards, colour and black and white photographs, line drawings.
This volume is the third in the trilogy that provides a review and inventory of New Zealand’s entire living and fossil biodiversity – an international effort involving more than 220 New Zealand and overseas specialists and the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. Together, the three volumes list every one of the almost 55,000 known species of New Zealand’s animals, plants, fungi, and micro-organisms. These volumes are affiliated with Species 2000, an international scientific project with the long-term goal of enumerating all described species on Earth into one seamless list – the Catalogue of Life, a kind of online biological telephone directory. To date, only New Zealand has compiled a checklist of its entire living and fossil biota. Approximately 52% of this country’s species are endemic – found only in New Zealand’s freshwater, marine, and land environments. We have a responsibility to the global community to preserve this unique heritage or taonga. But further than that, all of our species – including many of the naturalised aliens included in the survey – are important to New Zealand’s economy, ecology and well-being.
Written for the advanced high-school and tertiary-level reader, these volumes are also intended to be a kind of ‘Cooks Tour’ of the kingdoms and phyla of life that will, it is hoped, provide an appreciation of the wondrous diversity of nature. Volume one  and volume two .