Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in an environment, the more biodiversity the better! Have a look below to find out how we're helping protect it and how you can get involved.

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Biodiversity in Kaikōura 

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

In Kaikōura, there is a wide range of important native species and ecosystems. Kaikōura 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.

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 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 head to the Environment Canterbury website here.

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 Significant Natural Areas Program

Under Section 6(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991, 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.

Kaikōura District has numerous public reserves and conservation areas including the Seaward Kaikōura Ranges, which is the largest area of protected land. 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 Kaikōura District Council on (03) 319 5026 extension 211 or for more information.

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Get involved

You can help protect and restore biodiversity in Kaikōura 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, Kaikōura 7340, New Zealand
Phone: 022 FLY HOME (022 359 4663) or 021 029 26773

Trees for Travellers

Address: 80 Scarborough St, PO Box 107, Kaikōura, New Zealand
Phone: 03 319 7148
Fax: 03 319 7149

Forest & Bird, Kaikoura Branch

Contact: Barry Dunnett
Address: Pooles Rd, RD1, Kaikōura 7371
Phone: 03 319 5086

Department of Conservation, Kaikoura

Address: Ludstone Rd, Kaikoura
Phone: 03 319 5641
Fax: 03 319 6819

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5 June 2018