Native birds. New Zealand's national symbol is a nocturnal flightless bird with nostrils on the end of its large beak. The kiwi is now endangered, and difficult to see in the wild. However there are a number of 'kiwi houses' at zoos and wildlife parks.
Who are the Kiwis predators?
Predator control & monitoring. Research shows that the biggest threats to kiwi are warm blooded predators that have been introduced to New Zealand—mammals such as stoats, ferrets, dogs, cats and pigs.
What is a Kiwi eaten by?
Kiwi have a highly developed sense of smell, unusual in a bird, and are the only birds with nostrils at the end of their long beaks. Kiwi eat small invertebrates, seeds, grubs, and many varieties of worms. They also may eat fruit, small crayfish, eels and amphibians.
Wildlife encounters are one of the most rewarding and intriguing New Zealand backpacking experiences, which you can learn more about here.
- kiwi Bird. The kiwi bird is the nation's sweetheart.
- Lesser short-tailed Bat.
- Hector's Dolphin.
- Hamilton's Frog.
- Yellow-Eyed Penguins.
- Chevron Skink.
- Little Blue Penguins.
There are a few, but they are all safely housed in wild life parks (Butterfly Creek, Goat Island Reptile Park etc), there were reports a number of years ago that someone came across a large saltwater crocodile on the surface near the top of New Zealand. No crocodiles, neither indigenous nor introduced.
New Zealand is one of several large islands around the globe where there have never been native snake populations. The others are Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland and Newfoundland. Snakes are more common than lizards around the world, and yet New Zealand is home to several species of lizard and not a single snake.
There are no wild kangaroos, but there are wild, non-native wallabies in a few places in New Zealand, Kawau Island is the best known but they also are found in the central North Islands around Lake Tarawera and near Oamaru in the South Island.
There are no bears native to New Zealand, in fact, there are no native ground mammals in New Zealand at all. The only mammals native in New Zealand are bats and marine mammals (such as dolphins and whales). You can see bears in New Zealand zoos though. No bears, though.
Penguins. New Zealand has three species of penguin. Of New Zealand's species, the korora, or little blue penguin, is the world's smallest penguin. You'll find these little birds, usually when they come ashore at night, in the Marlborough Sounds, Akaroa Harbour, Oamaru, Dunedin and Stewart Island.
New Zealand has only one native mammal. Most of the country's native fauna come in the form of birds, and many of the native bird species in New Zealand are flightless (like the kiwi, takahe, weka, and penguins) because there were, historically, no large land predators to endanger them.
New Zealand is home to about 2500 kinds of spiders, most of them harmless to people. Only some spiders are capable of biting humans. There are three species of spiders in New Zealand that should be avoided – the Katipo, the Redback and the White-tailed Spider.
Take a look at the list below for a list of where to see some of the rarest penguins in New Zealand.
- The Banks Peninsula. The largest mainland colony of little blue penguins can be found on the Banks Peninsula outside of Christchurch.
- The Marlborough Sounds.
- Stewart Island.
- Munro Beach.
- The Catlins.
The British and Irish Lions played 10 rugby union matches: against all five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, the NZ Provincial Barbarians, the Māori All Blacks and three test matches against New Zealand. The members of the Lions squad voted Jonathan Davies as their player of the series.
Deer were first brought to New Zealand in the late 19th century for sport. Red deer now live in many forests, and there are also fallow deer, wapiti (elk), sambar, sika, rusa and white-tailed deer. Moose were introduced but may have died out.
New Zealand has many unique native fish, insects, birds, lizards and frogs. Our only native mammals are bats and marine mammals.
Koalas are native to Australia. In fact, they live in only the eastern states of that subcontinent. Since New Zealand and Australia separated long before koalas existed, New Zealand had to leave without any.
With no native mammals (except one species of short-tailed bat) and no marsupials, New Zealand's birds, reptiles and insects were left alone to pursue their curious lives and evolve unmolested by predators. The natural forest habitat which harboured New Zealand's prolific birdlife has also been reduced.
New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.
When humans first arrived in New Zealand, there were at least 131 species of land, freshwater and coastal birds, and another 65 species of seabirds (gulls, albatrosses, petrels and penguins), making at least 196 native species in total, according to a 1997 report (this count may have risen since as subspecies have been
Southern Africa has its own answer to the kangaroo, albeit a fraction of the size of the Australian version. However, the small springhare that leaps around in sandy areas is no relation to the Australian marsupial. There are kangaroos in every continent except Antarctica.
Although 7% of the world's bats species live in Australia, there are only two endemic genera of bats. Only three species of Australia's non-indigenous placental mammals were not deliberately introduced: the house mouse, black rat and the brown rat.
There used to be 20 sheep for every person in NZ. Now the latest statistics from Beef and Lamb NZ show it has fallen to about seven to one, or about 30 million sheep. The sheep-to-person ratio is still higher than Australia's, where there are 74 million sheep to 23.5 million people — a ratio of three to one.