New Zealand flora and fauna

Image: Broadleaf in the sun by Jon Sullivan on Flickr

We have selected these online resources to support you when you need information relating to native plants and animals of New Zealand, including endangered species and conservation projects. SCIS 1525170

Department of Conservation              

A comprehensive site that outlines the different aspects of the Department of Conservation with particularly useful links on native flora and fauna and what threatens them.

Native flora
Search here for information regarding native trees, ferns and flaxes, spinifex and pingao, alpine plants, and scrub and tussock.

Native fauna
Search here for information regarding birds, bats, insects, native fish, lizards, frogs, and marine fish.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary.


To discover information on the school work site ManyAnswers use the search terms native animals and native plants.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Native Forests

This fact sheet from the Kiwi Conservation Club's website describes the different types of native forest, why our forests are so important and how we can help protect them. Other fact sheets on the KCC website have useful information about native birds, national parks and possums.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Nature watch NZ

The Nature Watch NZ website is well set out with thumbnail pictures to help guide you through the information provided by Wikipedia on native flora and fauna.

Suggested level: secondary

New Zealand birds online

This is a digital encyclopaedia for identifying native bird species with a helpful guide on the birds you will find in different habitats. Each bird page includes its call.

Suggested level: secondary

New Zealand Bush

Contains links to wildlife, uses of the bush, recreation, landscape and conservation. Includes many photographs. A useful resource for all age groups.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

New Zealand plant conservation network

A comprehensive website that includes plant groups, scientific names for each plant, their ecosystems and what threatens each species.

Suggested level: secondary

Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Recreation section of the DOC website has links to information about tracks and walks, places to stay and places to visit, national parks, outdoor activities and safety information.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Science Learning

Search for native plants or animals on the Learning Science Hub site to get a range of relevant information on our native plants and animals.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Te Ara

Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, has extensive information about New Zealand animals and plants.

New Zealand bush
Describes a wide variety of trees, shrubs, alpine plants, flaxes, and orchids, through to mosses, lichen, and fungi.

Rongoa – medicinal use of plants
Learn about the range of traditional methods Maori used to treat illness, including common medical plants.

European discovery of plants and animals
Learn how the early explorers and settlers discovered, collected, described, and named the many new species they found in New Zealand.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Have you thought about using fiction with your class to support your topic? The following are some suggestions for your students (and you!) to read and enjoy.

Fantail’s quilt, by Gay Hay, 2011 (picture book)
My kiwi, by John Locker, 2005 (picture book)
Pepetuna, by Denise Whitmore, 2008 (picture book)
Project Huia, by Des Hunt, 2013 (junior fiction)

Kiwis: saving the world’s cutest endangered species. Youtube. 6.49.

Hector’s dolphins. Meet the locals. Youtube. 4.04