New Zealand Animals

Often overshadowed by its much larger neighbor’s biodiversity, New Zealand is also home to a plethora of wildlife, especially birds. The kiwi, a small flightless bird, is the most recognizable wildlife species and the National Bird of the country.

When humans arrived on these islands, they brought with them many non-native species. Some of these animals, including ferrets, weasels, cats, and rats, became predators to many of the native fauna, even driving some of them to extinction. Nevertheless, the small nation still boasts biodiversity that is unique, with many creatures not being found anywhere else in the world.

New Zealand Animals

List of New Zealand Animals

Mammals

  • Bats (New Zealand greater short-tailed, New Zealand lesser short-tailed, New Zealand long-tailed)
  • Whales (Southern right, Minke, Bryde’s, Sei, Fin, Blue, Humpback, Pygmy right, Sperm, Pygmy sperm, Dwarf sperm, Cuvier’s beaked, Arnoux’s beaked, Shepherd’s beaked, Southern bottlenose, Andrews’ beaked, Blainville’s beaked, Ginkgo-toothed beaked, Gray’s beaked, Hector’s beaked, Layard’s beaked, False killer, Short-finned pilot, Long-finned pilot)
  • Dolphins (Hector’s, Maui’s, Rough-toothed, Pantropical spotted, Striped, Spinner, Common, Hourglass, Dusky, Southern right whale, Risso’s)
  • Fur seals (New Zealand, Subantarctic)
  • Seals (Leopard, Weddell, Crabeater, Southern elephant)
  • Deer (Fallow, Red, Sambar, White-tailed)
  • Rats (Black, Norway, Polynesian)
  • Spectacled porpoises
  • Orcas
  • New Zealand sea lions
  • Cats
  • Chamois
  • Common brushtail possums
  • Elk
  • European hedgehogs
  • Ferrets
  • Hares
  • Goats
  • Himalayan tahr
  • House mice
  • Moose
  • Rabbits
  • Sheep
  • Alpacas
  • Llamas
  • Stoats
  • Wallabies
  • Weasels

Birds

  • Kiwis (Great spotted, Little spotted, Okarito brown, Common, North Island brown)
  • Penguin (Gentoo, Emperor, Adelie, Chinstrap, King, Fiordland, Northern rockhopper, Southern rockhopper, Snares, Erect-crested, Royal, Macaroni, Yellow-eyed)
  • Giant petrel (Northern, Southern)
  • Fulmar (Northern, Southern)
  • Petrel (Cape, Antarctic, Kerguelen, Tahiti, Bulwer’s, Grey-faced, White-headed, Mottled, Providence, Kermadec, Magenta, Herald, Phoenix, Soft-plumaged, Juan Fernandez, White-necked, Gould’s, Cook’s, Black-winged, Chatham, Stejneger’s, Pycroft’s, Blue)
  • Prion (Broad-billed, Salvin’s, Antarctic, Slender-billed, Fulmar, Fairy, Grey, White-chinned, Black, Westland)
  • Shearwater (Streaked, Cory’s, Streaked, Pink-footed, Flesh-footed, Wedge-tailed, Buller’s, Great, Sooty, Short-tailed, Christmas, Newell’s, Manx, Hutton’s, Fluttering, Little, Subantarctic)
  • Diving petrel (Common, South Georgia)
  • Storm petrel (Wilson’s, Grey-backed, New Zealand, White-faced, Black-bellied, White-bellied, Leach’s)
  • Albatross (Wandering, Antipodean, Southern royal, Northern royal, Black-footed, White-capped, Salvin’s, Chatham, Black-browed, Campbell, Grey-headed, Buller’s, Atlantic yellow-nosed, Indian yellow-nosed, Sooty, Light-mantled)
  • Tropicbird (Red-tailed, White-tailed)
  • Frigatebird (Lesser, Great)
  • Gannet (Australasian, Cape)
  • Booby (Red-footed, Masked, Brown)
  • Shag (Little, Black, Pied, Little black, Spotted, Pitt, King, Stewart, Campbell, Auckland, Bounty, Chatham)
  • Heron (Grey, White-necked, White, White-faced, Reef, Nankeen night)
  • Egret (Intermediate, Cattle, Little)
  • Ibis (Glossy, Australian white, Straw-necked)
  • Spoonbill (Royal, Yellow-billed)
  • Duck (Plumed whistling, Australian wood, Blue, Pink-eared, Grey, New Zealand musk)
  • Swan (Mute, Black)
  • Goose (Canada, Cape Barren, Greylag)
  • Shelduck (Paradise, Australian)
  • Teal (Grey, Chestnut, Brown, Auckland, Campbell)
  • Shoveler (Northern, Australasian)
  • Crake (Corn, Spotless, Marsh, Australian)
  • Rail (Auckland, Buff-banded, Hawkins’s)
  • Moorhen (Common, Dusky)
  • Quail (Brown, California)
  • Oystercatcher (Variable, South Island, Chatham)
  • Stilt (Black, Pied)
  • Plover (Pacific golden, American golden, Grey, Semipalmated, Red-capped, Lesser sand, Greater sand, Oriental, Shore)
  • Dotterel (Banded, New Zealand, Black-fronted, Red-kneed)
  • Snipe (Chatham, Snares, Subantarctic, Japanese)
  • Knot (Great, Red)
  • Sandpiper (Curlew, Stilt, Sharp-tailed, Pectoral, Baird’s, White-rumped, Least, Semipalmated, Western, Broad-billed, Buff-breasted, Upland, Common, Marsh, Terek)
  • Stint (Little, Red-necked, Long-toed)
  • Curlew (Far Eastern, Little, Bristle-thighed)
  • Godwit (Bar-tailed, Black-tailed, Hudsonian)
  • Tattler (Wandering, Grey-tailed)
  • Phalarope (Grey, Red-necked, Wilson’s)
  • Gull (Pacific, Southern black-backed, Laughing, Franklin’s, Red-billed, Black-billed)
  • Noddy (Black, Brown, Grey)
  • Tern (White, Sooty, Grey-backed, Bridled, Caspian, Gull-billed, White-fronted, Common, Antarctic, Arctic, Black-fronted, Whiskered, White-winged black, Little, New Zealand fairy, Crested)
  • Skua (Arctic, Pomarine, Long-tailed, Subantarctic, South polar)
  • Pigeon (New Zealand, Chatham)
  • Dove (Rock, Spotted, Barbary)
  • Grebe (Australasian, Hoary-headed, Australasian crested)
  • Falcon (New Zealand, Black)
  • Owl (Barn, Little, Tasmanian spotted)
  • Cuckoo (Long-tailed, Shining, Fan-tailed, Pallid, Oriental, Channel-billed)
  • Cockatoo (Sulphur-crested, Galah)
  • Parakeet (Red-fronted, Orange-fronted, Yellow-crowned, Forbes’s, Antipodes, Reischek’s)
  • New Zealand parrots (Kea, New Zealand kākā, Kākāpō)
  • Robin (South Island, North Island, Black)
  • Warbler (Grey, Chatham)
  • Kōkako (North Island, South Island)
  • Saddleback (North Island, South Island)
  • Woodswallow (Masked, White-browed, Dusky,
  • Australasian darter
  • Australian pelican
  • Mallard
  • Northern pintail
  • Hardhead
  • New Zealand scaup
  • Weka
  • Black-tailed native-hen
  • Pūkeko
  • Chukar
  • Australian coot
  • South Island takahē
  • Little bittern
  • Common pheasant
  • Indian peafowl
  • Wild turkey
  • Red-necked avocet
  • Wrybill
  • Masked lapwing
  • Sanderling
  • Dunlin
  • Ruff
  • Asiatic dowitcher
  • Common greenshank
  • Lesser yellowlegs
  • Ruddy turnstone
  • Oriental pratincole
  • Greater painted-snipe
  • New Zealand dabchick
  • Black kite
  • Swamp harrier
  • White-bellied sea eagle
  • Nankeen kestrel
  • New Zealand owlet-nightjar
  • White-throated needletail
  • Pacific swift
  • Eastern rosella
  • Dollarbird
  • Sacred kingfisher
  • Laughing kookaburra
  • Rock wren
  • Rifleman
  • Rook
  • Black-faced cuckooshrike
  • White-winged triller
  • New Zealand pipit
  • New Zealand fernbird
  • Australian reed warbler
  • Tomtit
  • Whitehead
  • Yellowhead
  • Brown creeper
  • Black-faced monarch
  • Satin flycatcher
  • Magpie-lark
  • Tui
  • Red wattlebird
  • New Zealand bellbird
  • Stitchbird
  • New Zealand fantail
  • Willie wagtail
  • Silvereye
  • Australian magpie
  • Common myna
  • Common starling
  • Yellowhammer
  • Cirl bunting
  • Common chaffinch
  • European greenfinch
  • Common redpoll
  • European goldfinch
  • House sparrow
  • Dunnock
  • Song thrush
  • Common blackbird
  • Welcome swallow
  • Fairy martin
  • Tree martin
  • Eurasian skylark

Reptiles

  • Geckos: Pacific gecko, Gold-striped gecko, Duvaucel’s gecko, Black-eyed gecko, green gecko (Auckland, , Lewis Pass, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Wellington, West Coast), Cloudy gecko, Forest gecko, Common gecko, Jewelled gecko, Rough gecko, Stephen’s Island gecko, Takitimu gecko, Harlequin gecko, Canterbury gecko, Raukawa gecko
  • Skinks: Alborn skink, Aorangi skink, Brown skink, Burgan skink, Chatham Islands skink, Barrier skink, Chesterfield skink, Chevron skink, Cobble skink, Common skink, Crenulate skink, Cryptic skink, Eyres skink, Falla’s skink, Festive skink, Fiordland skink, Grand skink, Green skink, Kupe skink, Lakes skink, Long-toed skink, Mackenzie skink, McCann’s skink, Moko skink, Nevis skink, Newman skink, New Zealand striped skink, Open Bay Islands skink, Otago skink, Rangitata skink, Scree skink, Shore skink, Sinbad skink, Small-scaled skink, Small-eared skink, Southern skink, Speckled skink, Spotted skink, Suter’s skink, Tatahi skink, Te Kakahu skink, Whirinaki skink, Copper skink, Hardy’s skink, Lord Howe Island, McGregor’s, Marbled, Mokohinau, Northland, Ornate skink, Robust skink, Slight skink, Whitaker’s skink
  • Tuataras: Brothers Island tuatara, Northern tuatara

Amphibians

  • Frogs: Archey’s frog, Hamilton’s frog, Hochstetter’s frog, Maud Island frog, Green and golden bell frog, Southern brown tree frog, Australian green tree frog, Eastern banjo frog


Insects

  • Butterflies
  • Bees
  • Weta
  • Spiders
  • Blackflies
  • Batflies
  • Caddisflies
  • Dragonflies
  • Plant bugs
  • Moths
  • Scorpionflies
  • Craneflies
  • Wasps
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Cicadas
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Stoneflies
  • Beetles
  • Weevil
  • Bumblebees
  • Ladybirds

New Zealand Animal

Conservation

As mentioned earlier, many endemic animals and birds of New Zealand were driven to extinction due to the arrival of humans. There were many species of flightless birds, including the moa, kiwi, and kakapo that never needed to evolve to fly because of the lack of predators. So when the predator mammals came with the human population, many of these flightless birds, including the moa, were hunted to extinction. Urbanization and human habitation also turned into a great threat, causing many species to be classified as endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN. However, conservation efforts are now underway to preserve the wildlife and increase their population.

Did you know

  • New Zealand is one of the only places in the world without snakes.
  • The country is home to one of the oldest living reptiles, the tuatara; it is also the islands’ largest reptile.
  • The only alpine parrot in the world, the kea, is native to New Zealand.
  • The islands’ most dangerous inhabitant is the venomous spider katipo.