Pleistocene Ice Age

During the Pleistocene Ice Age only a small portion of New Zealand was covered by glaciers but, with the colder weather, plants and animals struggled. Many plants and animals adapted to the colder climate

At the end of the last glacial period, about 10 000 years ago, there was hardy any forest left and most areas were covered by shrubland. The ensuing warmer weather helped the forest regain the land again and provided habitat for the birds and other animals still recovering from the glaciation.

Between 7000-1000 years ago, the climate cooled, causing the glaciers to advance again. The beech tree strived due to the cooler weather and also to increased rainfall. Ever since 1000 years ago, the glaciers have been retreating.