Overview of Biodiversity in Kaikoura


Jodie digitals 003 website

Biodiversity is the variety among and within plant and animal species in an environment.

New Zealand’s Biodiversity is unique and a large number of our species can be found nowhere else in the World.

Our native species and ecosystems are part of our identity, many of our native species have become national icons, such as the Kiwi and silver fern, and we must protect these species and the habitats they live in for present and future generations.

In Kaikoura, there is a wide range of important native species and ecosystems. Kaikoura is well-known for its NZ fur seals, whales and dolphins. It is also home to twelve native lizard species including the unusual black-eyed gecko and almost a quarter of the native plant species in the country. The last two surviving colonies of Hutton’s Shearwater breed here along with 30 other indigenous bird species.

Much of our native biodiversity is unique and vulnerable, therefore the responsibility for its continued existence is entirely ours, and it can’t be conserved in nature anywhere else in the world.




Significant Natural AreasUrq.1 website

 Under Section 6(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991, the Council has a responsibility to recognise and provide for the protection of areas of “significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna” as a matter of national importance.

The Kaikoura District has numerous public reserves and conservation areas including the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, which is the largest area of protected land. The council completed a study to identify all of the significant natural areas on private land in the district, so far 155 sites have been identified.

If you are considering protecting a significant natural area on your land, contact Kate Hunt at the Kaikoura District Council on (03) 319 5026 extension 211 or for more information.


Threats to Biodiversity

- habitat loss and fragmentation

- pollution e.g. pesticides, fertiliser run-off

- climate changes in temperature, rainfall, snowfall and sea level rise

- extreme natural events e.g. fire, drought and floods

- small population sizes and restricted distribution

- human activity through earthworks and forestry

- lack of knowledge about biodiversity and sustainable management


Animal Pests

Introduced animal and plant pests have greatly reduced numbers of native plant and animal species and therefore biodiversity in New Zealand. Without controlling their numbers our native species could become extinct.

Animal pest species include feral goats and pigs, deer, possums, stoats, weasels, ferrets, cats, rats and mice.


Plant Pests

Plant pest species include Old man’s beard, banana passionfruit, barberry, wandering jew/willie, crack willow, grey willow, broom, gorse, boneseed, hieracium and wilding conifer.

To find out more information

 Hailes 3 before weed control websiteHailes 4 after weed control website








Before Weed Control                                                                                                             After Weed Control                                                                                                                                                                  


Get Involved

You can help protect and restore biodiversity in Kaikoura by:

- increasing the natural habitat by growing native plants that naturally occur in your area

- creating habitats using features such as ponds, bird baths, hollow logs and nesting boxes

- removing pest weeds and controlling animal pests

- protecting your significant natural areas through covenants for future generations


Local Groups

The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust

Post: PO Box 58, Kaikoura 7340, New Zealand
Phone: 022 FLY HOME (022 359 4663) or 021 029 26773

Trees for Travellers

Address: 80 Scarborough St, PO Box 107, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 319 7148
Fax: +64 3 319 7149

Forest & Bird, Kaikoura Branch

Contact: Barry Dunnett
Address: Pooles Rd; RD 1; Kaikoura 7371
Phone: (03) 319 5086

Department of Conservation, Kaikoura

Address: Ludstone Rd, Kaikoura
Phone: +64 3 319 5641
Fax: +64 3 319 6819

Biodiversity Publications and Links

Link to the rural section and vegetation clearance rules of the District Plan

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy

Canterbury Biodiversity

Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy