Our unique environment...

© P Reese/Nature PL

New Zealand has an amazing variety of landscapes and a range of unusual species. We have a very high percentage of birds, reptiles and invertebrates that are found nowhere else in the world. Unusually, we also have no indigenous land mammals (apart from two species of bat) and birds fill the role that mammals take in other countries.

Under threat

Yet this amazing flora and fauna is under serious threat. Since humans arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand around 800 years ago 32% (or 58) species of land and freshwater birds have become extinct. A large number of other animals and plants are listed as threatened or vulnerable to extinction, and the situation is getting worse.

The main threats are caused by habitat loss and degradation driven by urban development and intensification of farming. Invasive animals and plants also threaten to out-compete or predate our native flora and fauna.

© Painga Project

WWF-New Zealand is working with local communities to halt and reverse these threats.


We do this by:

  • Running the WWF-New Zealand Conservation Fund, a financial fund open to community-led conservation groups to help them protect and restore habitat in their area

  • Developing partnerships with local councils, iwi, communities and government agencies to increase the effectiveness of conservation at a grass roots level. 

  • Developing a groundbreaking landscape-wide restoration programme - Reconnecting Northland - in partnership with NZ Landcare Trust