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Bug Lab will run at Auckland Zoo from December 20 until late August, before travelling to the US.
Opening at Te Papa in December last year, the million blockbuster attracted more than 137,000 visitors in four months at the national museum before wowing crowds at Melbourne Museum from June to October.
Once widespread throughout Northland and Auckland, the wetapunga population had shrunk to just Hauturu/Little Barrier Island, where it was under attack from cats and kiore (the Pacific rat).
But starting with just 12 insects five years ago, Auckland Zoo has now released thousands of wetapunga on pest-free islands in the Hauraki Gulf - including 730 on Otata Island in The Noises earlier this month and about 400 to Motuhorapapa on Wednesday.
As well as reading this book for interest or to support specific curriculum topics, you can use it to build students’ awareness of the features of non-fiction texts.The exhibition will also feature a star comeback from New Zealand's own heavyweight bug, the wetapunga - which has outlived the dinosaurs but was under threat of extinction from predators introduced by man.Bug Lab will give Auckland Zoo a stage to highlight its wetapunga breed-for-release recovery programme, helping bring Aotearoa's largest bug back from the brink.In fact, the Department of Conservation (Do C) describes possums as, “one of the greatest threats to our natural environment.” Not only does the introduced mammal chomp through 20000 tonnes of vegetation a night, but their population has increased at an alarming rate to around 70 million currently in New Zealand!Whole canopies of trees have disappeared at the mercy of the possum.