Doctor Mud

Fossils and the law in New Zealand

4 posts in this topic

Great post my friend!

Cheers!

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On 16 June 2017 at 3:10 AM, FossilDudeCO said:

Great post my friend!

Cheers!

 

Thanks FossilDude.

 

Ive seen a few posts on here saying it is illegal to take fossils out of New Zealand. 

Its not entirely true and I don't want any of our members feeling bad about their NZ fossils.

 

Its a tough one as the perspective that the fossils are off limits would prevent any abuse of deposits in our little country. But the truth and peace of mind of well meaning people prevailed.

 

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From my experience in New Zealand, here is a guide of some examples of what would be defined as protected objects.

To save any hassle leaving the country - and for the sake of paleontology in New Zealand don't take these items out the country. Probably best to avoid buying them also - unless you are like Charlie and  buy them, then donate!

 

1. Almost all vertebrate material. Particularly diagnostic bits like skulls or earbones. Also articulated skeletons or parts thereof. Dinosaur material is very rare in New Zealand so would definitely be classed as a protected object.

 

You could be ok with isolated post cranial (non skull) elements, e.g. If you found a loose whale vert weathered out on a beach.

 

I would post vertebrate material on here or contact an expert. Canterbury museum in Christchurch or the Geology Department at the University of Otago, Dunedin are good places for contacts on vertebrates.

 

2. "Mega shark" material. Sorry folks. The record of the C. Megalodon lineage is so far poorly represented in New Zealand. Despite the extensive tertiary deposits in NZ there are only a handful of Meg teeth so far. Some ancestors (C.angustidens) are more common but still would be regarded as a protected object.

 

You would be ok with isolated teeth from other species, but like elsewhere, associated shark material is rare and would be considered a protected object.

 

3. Be wary of anything (when buying) with a catalog number on it. This could have been "acquired" from a museum collection and could be an important specimen. Ask the seller. It could be innocent as many private collectors label their specimens.

 

Ill update this post if I think of any more examples.

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