Mission Blue website: http://mission-blue.org/hope-spots/
Isolated in the Southern Ocean, the New Zealand subantarctic islands and their surrounding seas are among the least human-modified environments anywhere in the world. Isolation has helped shape the biodiversity of these oceanic islands and surrounding marine habitat. Rare and globally threatened mammal and bird species include the New Zealand sea lion—the world’s most endangered sea lion—at least three endemic species of land birds, several endemic species of seabird which breed only in the subantarctic, and two species of penguins classified as vulnerable or endangered. The state of biological knowledge of this marine environment is low, with many groups that have not yet been investigated including ten unlisted species of sponge and several types of bryozoa.