Oceania is known for its secluded islands and rich biodiversity. The fauna of New Zealand stated to be seen surviving before the humans were born on this earth, as the flightless birds like the Kiwi, Moa, and Weka were the first survivors here. The Australian continent consists of 83% of mammals, 24% fishes and insects, 89% reptiles and 93% amphibians. The Asian and the Australasian species in the western and eastern parts, respectively, also influence the ecological regions of Indonesia. Papua New Guinea Island is a part of the Australian continent and is a home to 222 species of mammals.
Significance of National Animals for Oceanic Countries
There are many national animals related to the Oceanic countries that carry utmost importance. In Australia, the national animals are Emu and Red Kangaroo, New Zealand is known for the Kiwi, Indonesia for the Garuda and Komodo dragon, and Papua New Guinea for the Dugong.
The Red Kangaroo is one of the largest marsupials found in the Australian continent and can survive in an arid environment as they conserve enough water and fresh green vegetation to survive in this kind of environment. In 1773, its paintings first appeared in various collections and used as a mascot, appeared on the Australian Coat of Arms and much more. The Emu, the second largest bird of Australia is an important icon since it has appeared on various coins, the Australian Coat of Arms, and the unofficial Bird Emblem of Australia. The bird got the name in the year 1790, and in the year 1816, the French ornithologist suggested two generic names for this bird because of its fast speed.
The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard found in the Komodo Island of Indonesia, and the evolution history dates back to 40 million years ago. They are found in the open grassland, tropical forest and the savanna. UNESCO recognizes them as rare species so a biosphere is built for them to conserve the animal. Garuda Pancasila is an eagle bird-like species that features on the national emblem of Indonesia and recognized in the year 1950. It was taken from the mythical bird vehicle of Lord Vishnu, and the feathers in the emblem represent the Indonesia’s date of Independence.
The Kiwi is a flightless bird found in New Zealand, and is regarded as a national symbol of the country. They are often seen in the daylight but as the bird is shy so it is also having a nocturnal behavior, and the bird is said to have evolved around one million years ago.
Papua New Guinea
The Dugong from Papua New Guinea is an herbivorous marine animal that is found in both the warm coastal waters and in the deeper Pacific waters as well.
Relationships with Humans and Conservation Programs
The government of the respective countries have worked to save their native animals from commercial exploitation and to restore them by starting more expansive conservation efforts. The government of the Oceanic countries sets up the sanctuaries and national parks. These animals were hunted for their skin, meat, and oil, so a ban has been put up in the recent years so that they can be conserved in their natural habitat, and steps are taken to save them from their natural predators as well.