Below you can find a complete list of New Zealand animals. We currently track 103 animals in New Zealand and are adding more every day!
New Zealand is a country in Oceania that is made up of two large islands and several smaller islands. New Zealand has a widely diverse topography and a temperate maritime climate. Due to millions of years of isolation in New Zealand’s past, there are many unique types of flora and fauna native to the islands. Along with unique native species, New Zealand is also home to many types of widespread animal species. Originally, New Zealand had very few predator mammals, which led to the increased evolution of flightless birds.
The Official National (state) Animal of New Zealand
The national animal is the native kiwi bird. This cute, flightless bird is so strongly associated with New Zealand that the term kiwi is often used to refer to people who are natives. Kiwis are considered vulnerable in terms of conservation due to the invasion of non-native predator mammals as well as deforestation.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in New Zealand
The top animal in New Zealand is undoubtedly the national kiwi bird. Kiwis are very shy and elusive and are mainly found in forests during nocturnal hours. Another top animal is the lesser short-tailed bat. This bat is the only native land mammal in the country. It’s considered endangered and difficult to see outside of zoos. Many of New Zealand’s top animals can be found in the waters surrounding the country. These include the following:
The Most Dangerous Animals
There are over 70,000 species of flora and fauna. Some of these species are dangerous to humans. Sharks are probably the most dangerous animal in New Zealand as several species roam the waters, including the great white and oceanic whitetip. New Zealand also has a few venomous spider species, including the Katipo spider, redback spider, and white-tailed spider. The latter spider species is also the most common, which makes it more likely that it will encounter and bite humans. Fortunately, it’s not as venomous as the other two spiders.
There are a number of endangered animals in New Zealand. The fairy tern has a remaining population of between 30 and 40 animals. It’s threatened by a loss of habitat as well as predation by cats and dogs. The flightless kakapo parrot has only 124 animals left in the wild and is endangered for the same reasons as the fairy tern. The Maui dolphin is a subspecies of Hector’s dolphin, but it’s very endangered with only about 55 animals left. Gill nets and trawling nets are mainly to blame for the dolphin’s destruction. Other endangered animals include the following:
Native and Unique Wildlife To New Zealand
As a relatively isolated area, this country is home to many types of flora and fauna that are completely unique to it. The kiwi is one of these unique natives. Another unique native animal is the kea. The kea is the only alpine species of parrot in the world. They can be found in Arthur’s Pass National Park and Fiordland National Park. They’re known for eating nearly anything, including rubber parts on cars. Another unique animal native to New Zealand is the chevron skink. Its claim to fame is that it’s the island’s longest lizard.
Extinct New Zealand Wildlife
Many animals have become extinct in New Zealand over the years. One is the Haast’s eagle, which died out after humans hunted the moa (the eagle’s main prey) to extinction. This eagle was the largest known eagle to have once existed, and it weighed about 33 pounds. Other extinct New Zealand animals include the following:
- South Island goose
- Greater short-tailed bat
- Kawekaweau gecko
Cute Animals and Mammals
This country is home to many cute animals, including the popular kiwi bird. The kakapo is also considered one of the favorite cute animals in New Zealand. The flightless parrot has an owl-like face with whiskers around its beak. It can also be quite chubby, which adds to its cuteness. Kakapos are unique in that they live an average of 90 years.
Venomous Animals In New Zealand
Unlike Australia, New Zealand doesn’t have any species of deadly animals and very few examples of poisonous wildlife. The great white shark is a potentially deadly animal, but deadly attacks in New Zealand are rare. The katipo is the sole poisonous animal in New Zealand, and it’s hard to find. It’s a nocturnal spider with a poisonous bite, but there is no real evidence that anyone has died from a katipo bite in the last century.
Nocturnal Wildlife in New Zealand
There are many nocturnal animals in New Zealand, including the kiwi, the kakapo, bats, frogs, skinks, and geckos. New Zealand’s spider and insect species like cockroaches and mosquitos are also largely active at night. Along with native nocturnal animals, there are many non-native nocturnal species like rats, stoats, possums, and cats. Unfortunately, these animals do a lot of damage to the native animals in New Zealand.
New Zealand Animals
New Zealand Animals List
- Angora Goat
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Cashmere Goat
- Crab Spider
- Crested Penguin
- Fallow deer
- Glow Worm
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Kiko Goat
- Little Penguin
- Marine Toad
- Monarch Butterfly
- Monitor Lizard
- Myna Bird
- No See Ums
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Rockhopper Penguin
- Sea Dragon
- Skink Lizard
- Stick Insect
- Striped Rocket Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- Wolf Spider
- Yellow-Eyed Penguin
Animals in New Zealand FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What kind of animals live in New Zealand?
The most populous animals in New Zealand are birds, marine life and reptiles. New Zealand did not naturally have land predators until humans moved in.
What is the main animal in New Zealand?
The kiwi is the most well-known animal in New Zealand.
Does New Zealand have dangerous animals?
Unlike Australia, New Zealand has very few dangerous animals.