Fauna in New Zealand is unusual. With exception of 2 bat
species, there are no native mammals or indigenous to New
Wild animals found in the country today are those
that have been imported into the country and some are
generally classified as vermin.
These are goats, deer, pigs,
weasels, rabbits, the Australian opossum, and ferrets. The
list also includes domesticated animals or pets such as cats
There are no snakes in New Zealand and it has only one
spider that is poisonous known locally as Katipo, a species
closely related to the Australian Redback.
Katipo’s bite is not lethal, it is a very rare species of
spider. The Weta is an insect which looks very frightening,
but is really harmless.
The most unique animal in New Zealand is the Tuatara. It is
a reptile with a lizard-like appearance and it predates the
age of the dinosaurs. It is regarded as a living fossil.
Found here and nowhere else in the world are over 70 bird
species of birds. Over a third of these birds are
flightless, and about a quarter are nocturnal.
These flightless birds survived through the years mostly
because of lack of natural predators but this situation
changed with the importation of other species, the
conditions in the country had become less favorable for
resulted in many species becoming extinct and even more
Well known birds from New Zealand are the Weka, Kiwi,
Kakapo, Tui, Takahe, and Bellbird. Many seabirds have their
home in New Zealand. The Albatross, the bird with the
longest wing-span on earth, is one of them.
The Moa was New Zealand’s most impressive bird.
Unfortunately, this spectacular bird became extinct from
hunting after Europeans came to New Zealand.
The Moa’s were
the tallest avians in the world, and they were recorded to
reach an average height of 15 feet. Though there have been
alleged sightings of the Moa in some rural parts of the
country, there is no hard evidence to support these
Still, it must be mentioned that there are still parts of
New Zealand that have not yet been fully explored by humans.
One such island is Fiordland. This fact provides a
possibility that the Moa still exists.
The Takahe, a bird once declared extinct, was found in
Fiordland, in a remote area of the island in 1948. The
Takahe is now out of the endangered list after a successful
program of breeding.
As stated above, New Zealand has no indigenous mammals, yet
it is home to bats and some marine mammals such as dolphins
and seals. There are several native species of birds, frogs,
fish, and lizards.
New Zealand boasts of the only flightless parrot in the
world known as the Kakapo. They also have the only bird that
has nostrils at its beak’s end known as the Kiwi, which is
also notoriously flightless.
Because of the lack of predatory mammals, New Zealand birds
ran around free on the ground and many species became
flightless because their wings became useless. A large
number of fauna have kept their ancient forms. The Weta,
wingless crickets, grew to the size of mice and started
foraging in the forest. They also have a crude frog which
gives birth to live young.