Kaikōura is home to many special native species and landscapes.

This unique biodiversity helps keep our air clear, our water clean, and provide food, education, medicine and recreation for our local residents and visitors.

Council is proud to be working with our community to protect our wildlife and land and make sure our district’s environment has a sustainable future.


This page contains information about Kaikōura's biodiversity, Council's environmental work and how YOU can get involved to help promote and protect our unique environment. 

Get in touch for more information about any of these projects.

Best Practice Lighting for Dark Skies

Too often, outdoor electric lighting installations at night are over lit, left on when not needed, and are harmful to the environment. As a result, light pollution is a growing global issue that can negatively affect our environment and impact our quality of life. 

Our shared goal is to prevent and reduce light pollution through the proper application of quality outdoor electric lighting. By applying these principles, properly designed electric lighting at night can be beautiful, healthy, and functional. Projects that incorporate these principles will save energy and money, reduce light pollution, and minimize wildlife disruption. To find out more about how you can make a difference click here to download a helpful brochure.

Injured Wildlife

If you find an injured or ill native bird please contact Kaikoura DOC rangers. You will be asked about the bird’s situation and informed what to do. Please collect the bird carefully and house in a ventilated box in a quiet cool area until handover can be arranged. Please minimise handling and do not attempt to feed or hydrate birds.

Alternatively, please take birds directly to VetCare Kaikoura for assessment or euthanasia, which is kindly free of charge for native wildlife. If you are unable to reach any of these contacts please call the South Island Wildlife Hospital for advice.

► Hutton's Shearwaters

If you find grounded Hutton’s shearwaters in Kaikoura during the breeding season from September-April, please rescue immediately and release into the sea (off wharves, marinas, slipways, boat ramps or in the water at the beach), to let birds swim or dive off. Albatross Encounter is also able to release shearwaters from their vessels at sea. Please take any injured shearwaters to VetCare Kaikoura. For further information contact the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust.

Website: http://www.huttonsshearwater.org.nz/

► Department of Conservation

Address: Kaikoura Field Base, 115 Ludstone Road, Kaikoura.

Phone: Please call the Renwick DOC Office in Blenheim on 03 572 9100, to be transferred to a Kaikoura DOC Ranger. If after hours or the weekend call the DOC Hotline on 0800 362 468.

Website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/sick-injured-and-dead-wildlife

► VetCare Kaikoura

Address: 57 Beach Road, Kaikoura.

Vet: Dr Rebecca Fleming

Phone: 03 319 5693

Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm, Saturday 9am-12pm.

Website: https://vetcarekaikoura.co.nz/

► South Island Wildlife Hospital

Address: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Road, Northwood, Christchurch.

Vet: Dr Pauline Howard

Phone: 022 106 0170

Opening hours: 9am-11am and 4pm-6pm.

Transfer: May be arranged from VetCare Kaikoura.

Website: https://www.wildlifehospital.co.nz


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.

Find out more about our Biodiversity here.

Council's Environmental Work

Council is proud to be working with our community to protect our wildlife and land and make sure our district’s environment has a sustainable future.

There are a number of Council led environmental programmes that are aimed to help our community members increase and protect our district's biodiversity.

Find out more about Council's environmental programmes here.

Get involved - community groups and initiatives

A number of local groups and initiatives are doing great things to protect and manage the environment in Kaikōura. 

From helping to protect the Hutton's Shearwater's, protecting seals at Point Keen or planting a tree to offset carbon, there are lots of different ways you can get involved and do your bit to help out precious environment. 

Find out about local groups here, including how to get in touch with them.

Related information

07 January 2018