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South Island

The South Island officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean; the South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres. It has a temperate climate, it has a 32 percent larger landmass than the North Island, as a result is nicknamed the "mainland" of New Zealand by South Island residents, but only 23 percent of New Zealand's 4.8 million inhabitants live there. In the early stages of European settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes; the North Island population overtook the South in the early 20th century, with 56 percent of the population living in the North in 1911, the drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the century. In the 19th century, some maps named the South Island as Middle Island or New Munster, the name South Island or New Leinster was used for today's Stewart Island/Rakiura.

In 1907, the Minister for Lands gave instructions to the Land and Survey Department that the name Middle Island was not to be used in future. "South Island will be adhered to in all cases". Although the island had been known as the South Island for many years, in 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board found that, along with the North Island, the South Island had no official name. After a public consultation, the board named the island South Island or Te Waipounamu in October 2013. Said to mean "the Water of Greenstone", this name evolved from Te Wāhi Pounamu "the Place of Greenstone"; the island is known as Te Waka a Māui which means "Māui's Canoe". In some Māori legends, the South Island existed first, as the boat of Maui, while the North Island was the fish that he caught. In prose, the two main islands of New Zealand are called the North Island and the South Island, with the definite article, it is normal to use the preposition in rather than on, for example "Christchurch is in the South Island", "my mother lives in the South Island".

Maps, headings and adjectival expressions use South Island without "the". Charcoal drawings can be found on limestone rock shelters in the centre of the South Island, with over 500 sites stretching from Kaikoura to North Otago; the drawings are estimated to be between 500 and 800 years old, portray animals and fantastic creatures stylised reptiles. Some of the birds pictured are long extinct, including Haast's eagles, they were drawn by early Māori, but by the time Europeans arrived, local Māori did not know the origins of the drawings. Early inhabitants of the South Island were the Waitaha, they were absorbed via marriage and conquest by the Kāti Māmoe in the 16th century. Kāti Māmoe were in turn absorbed via marriage and conquest by the Kāi Tahu who migrated south in the 17th century. While today there is no distinct Kāti Māmoe organisation, many Kāi Tahu have Kāti Māmoe links in their whakapapa and in the far south of the island. Around the same time a group of Māori migrated to Rekohu, where, in adapting to the local climate and the availability of resources, they evolved into a separate people known as the Moriori with its own distinct language – related to the parent culture and language in mainland New Zealand.

One notable feature of the Moriori culture, an emphasis on pacifism, proved disadvantageous when Māori warriors arrived in the 1830s aboard a chartered European ship. In the early 18th century, Kāi Tahu, a Māori tribe who originated on the east coast of the North Island, began migrating to the northern part of the South Island. There they and Kāti Māmoe fought Ngāi Rangitāne in the Wairau Valley. Ngāti Māmoe ceded the east coast regions north of the Clarence River to Kāi Tahu. Kāi Tahu continued conquering Kaikoura. By the 1730s, Kāi Tahu had settled including Banks Peninsula. From there they spread further south and into the West Coast. In 1827-1828 Ngāti Toa under the leadership of Te Rauparaha attacked Kāi Tahu at Kaikoura. Ngāti Toa visited Kaiapoi, ostensibly to trade; when they attacked their hosts, the well-prepared Kāi Tahu killed all the leading Ngāti Toa chiefs except Te Rauparaha. Te Rauparaha returned to his Kapiti Island stronghold. In November 1830 Te Rauparaha persuaded Captain John Stewart of the brig Elizabeth to carry him and his warriors in secret to Akaroa, where by subterfuge they captured the leading Kāi Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, his wife and daughter.

After destroying Te Maiharanui's village they killed them. John Stewart, though arrested and sent to trial in Sydney as an accomplice to murder escaped conviction. In the summer of 1831–32 Te Rauparaha attacked the Kaiapoi pā. Kaiapoi was engaged in a three-month siege by Te Rauparaha, during which his men sapped the pā, they attacked Kāi Tahu on Banks Peninsula and took the pā at Onawe. In 1832-33 Kāi Tahu retaliated under the leadership of Tūhawaiki and others, attacking Ngāti Toa at Lake Grassmere. Kāi Tahu prevailed, killed many Ngāti Toa, although Te Rauparaha again escaped. Fighting continued with Kāi Tahu maintaining the upper hand. Ngāti Toa never again made a major incursion into Kāi Tahu territory. By 1839 Kāi Tahu and Ngāti Toa established peace and Te Rauparaha released the Kāi Tahu captives he held. Formal marriages between the leading families in the two tribes sealed the peace; the first Europeans known to reach the South Island were the crew

Ventspils Coach Terminal

The Ventspils Coach Terminal is the central bus station for inter-city services in Ventspils, Latvia. The terminal is owned by Ventspils reiss, a limited liability company of Ventspils city municipality. Although the first inter-city coach services appeared in 1924, there was not any official bus terminal. In 1950s the central bus station was located nearby the Town Hall square; the present coach terminal was built in 1960, however due to bad conditions it was reconstructed in 2001, one year it was recognized as the best one in Latvia. Some of the routes include cities like Riga, Liepaja, Talsi and Jelgava. From this bus station it is possible to go to the nearby villages as well. In 2014 it was decided to open a new route to Kolka during the summer season; as Ventspils is a small city many people decide to go on foot to the terminal, however it is possible to take taxi or public transport. Media related to Ventspils autoosta at Wikimedia Commons Ventspils reiss

Pomacea diffusa

Pomacea diffusa, common name the spike-topped apple snail, is a species of freshwater snail, an aquatic gastropod mollusk in the family Ampullariidae, the apple snails. Pomacea diffusa was described as a subspecies of Pomacea bridgesii. Pain argued that Pomacea bridgesii bridgesii was a larger form with a restricted range, with the smaller Pomacea bridgesii diffusa being the common form throughout the Amazon Basin. Cowie and Thiengo suggested that the latter might deserve full species status, the two taxa have been confirmed as distinct species by genetic analyses; the type locality of Pomacea diffusa is in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, although the species is widespread throughout the Amazon Basin. Non-indigenous distribution of Pomacea diffusa include: Thompson recorded this species in Florida in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas Counties; the FLMNH electronic database lists samples from Alachua County, but records cited from the FLMNH database for Brevard County are in fact from Broward County.

Rawlings et al. collected this species in Hillsborough and Collier Counties. Pomacea diffusa was first recorded in Florida by William J. Clench; the FLMNH has specimens collected in Palm Beach County in 1967 and Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in the early 1970s. Howells et al. reported its establishment in Mobile, Alabama in 2003. Cuba Pomacea diffusa is known as the spike-topped apple snail, because of its raised spire, it lacks a channeled suture, overlaps in size with the Pomacea paludosa. The egg masses have an irregular honeycombed appearance, like those of Pomacea haustrum, but are smaller and have a tan to salmon color, although the egg masses are white when freshly laid, it is a part of ornamental pet trade for freshwater aquaria. This article incorporates CC-BY-2.0 text from the reference. Applesnails of Florida on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site