New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most endangered species. Here are six of the ones left in New Zealand and where you can have the chance to see them.
New Zealand Sea Lion – Dunedin
The population of the New Zealand Sea Lion, commonly referred to, by me, as the dogs of the sea, today is half of what it was 17 years ago in 1998 at just 12,000 left in the wild. The biggest threats that face these little guys are trawling nets and bacterial infections. You can come to see them by flying into the Dunedin Airport and visiting their colony.
The Kakapo is a ground dwelling parrot, native to New Zealand. This little guy is one of the longest living parrots, with an average life expectancy of 95 years! There are only 124 left in the world, who are kept in predator free conservation Islands. It’s biggest threats are introduced species such as rats, cats and stoats. The Kakapo is so critically endangered that it is not available for the public to see and there are none left in the wild. However, Sirocco is a kakapo that was raised by hand due to a lung infection as a chick and therefore think’s he is a human. Despite living in the wild, Sirocco sometimes makes appearances for the Kakapo conservation society, spreading the word about Kakapo conservation.
Northern Royal Albatross
The Northern Royal Albatross’s population is a mere 17,000 left in the wild. Most of the population nests in the Chatham Islands where it’s nesting area is protected from predators by a predator proof fence which is maintained by the locals of the area. The biggest threats to the Northern Royal Albatross are introduced species such as cats, dogs and stoats.
The population of Maui’s Dolphin is a shocking 55 left in the world. This beautiful creature faces threats from fishing nets, which catch and kill them. They live in the offshore waters of New Zealand’s North Island.
The population of the Bryde’s Whale is 160. The New Zealand giants biggest threats are ship collisions with container ships frequenting routes through the whale’s natural habitat. You can see this great ocean giant on whale watching tours from New Zealand.
The Kiwi is just so cute you want to take one home with you and you can if you’re sneaky about it… But if being sneaky isn’t your style or you don’t really fancy the idea of being detained at the New Zealand international airport for trying to steal one of their national icons you can always pick up a less ‘alive’ more ‘stuffed-toy’ one from the Aelia Duty Free at the Dunedin airport. The Kiwi’s predators, namely cats, dogs and stoats, have forced it’s numbers to dwindle to around 50,000 – 60,000 which is a huge decline from its population of 5 million 80 years ago. The Kiwi can live up to 50 years old and is a relatively large, ground dwelling bird native to New Zealand. The Kiwi has recently been reintroduced to the region of Dunedin where it can be seen roaming the hillsides.