Endangered species of New Zealand

Extinct Species of New Zealand

On this page is a list of New Zealand's 67 species - extinguished since human inhabitation.

Common page


The total threatened with extinction has now increased by 416 to 2788 according to the New Zealand Threat Classification System lists (2005) published by the Department of Conservation. The latest State of New Zealand's Environment report (2007) advises that all ten indicator species are still in decline, as does a Ministry for the Environment report of 2012.

New Zealand has been developing for 80 million years since it separated from Gondwanaland and the Maori has been here for about 700-900 years. To get a perspective of the time frames New Zealand has been inhabited for one second of a 24 hour day. The current rate of biodiversity lose is, therefore, appalling.

Pending risks are primarily from habit loss and introduced predators

The Haast's eagle was the largest eagle in the world and is thought to have eaten moa, a suitable size meal for such a large bird. The Haast's eagle is thought to have become extinct after the moa hunters depleted its primary food source. Another relationship of dependence, causing secondary extinction, has found by recent examinations of skins of the extinct huia (bird). It has been discovered that the huia had their own mite which became extinct with them. All of our bat species are also threatened and the bat fly is dependant on them, as is the woodrose. Wood pigeon are in decline and are the only native bird large enough to disperse large seeds of native trees such as tawa, miro karaka, taraire, and puriri.

A significant extinction of recent times is the South Island kokako (listed extinct in 2007). It had a call described as haunting, and similar to several pipe organs. Our largest, and the world's largest gecko, kawekaweua has also been lost since European settlement.

Correction notices to web@nhc.net.nz.

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Extinct birds since 1840

Chatham Island bellbird — Anthornis melanocephala

Chatham Island bellbird — Anthornis melanocephala

Chatham rail — Cabalus modestus

South Island kokako — Callaeas cinerea cinerea

Little Barrier Island snipe — Coenocorypha aucklandica barrierensis

Stewart Island snipe — Coenocorypha aucklandica iredalei

New Zealand quail — Coturnix novaezelandiae

Dieffenbach's rail — Gallirallus dieffenbachii

Huia — Heteralocha acutirostris

New Zealand little bittern — Ixobrychus novaezelandiae

Auckland Island merganser — Mergus australis

Laughing owl — Sceloglaux albifacies

Stephens Island wren — Traversia lyalli

South Island piopio — Turnagra capensis

North Island piopio — Turnagra tanagra

Bush wren — Xenicus longipes



Extinct birds: Maori settlement to European settlement

North Island Adzebill

South Island Adzebill

Eyles' Harrier

Haast's Eagle

Giant Chatham Island Rail

Hodgen's Waterhen


Chatham Islands Coot

Giant Chatham Island Snipe

New Zealand Owlet-nightjar

Chatham Islands Raven

New Zealand Raven

North Island Raven

South Island Raven

New Zealand Musk Duck

Chatham Islands Duck

New Zealand Pink-eared Duck

Finsch's Duck

North Island Goose

South Island Goose

New Zealand Swan

Bush Moa

Upland Moa

Heavy-footed Moa

Crested Moa

Mappin's Moa

Stout-legged Moa

Coastal Moa

Eastern Moa

North Island Giant Moa

Giant Moa


Extinct Reptiles


Narrow-bodied Skink

Northland Skink


Extinct Bats

Greater Short Tailed Bat (Last seen Solander Island 1967)


Extinct Amphibians

Aurora frog

Markham's frog

Waitomo frog



Extinct Fish

New Zealand grayling (about 1940)


Extinct Insects

Mecodema punctellum


Extinct Molluscs

Placostylus ambagiosus gardneri

Placostylus ambagiosus hinemoa

Placostylus ambagiosus lesleyae

Placostylus ambagiosus priscus

Placostylus ambagiosus spiritus

Placostylus ambagiosus worthyi

Hoplodactylus_delcourti extinct giant skink lizard

Kawekaweau Photo Aaron Matthew Bauer Licence

Go to lizards to learn more about Kawekaweau Hoplodactylus delcourti


Extinct wren
Wren NHC
Kokako extinct bird of New Zealand
Extinct Stephen Island Wren
Stephen Island Wren Dr Paddy Ryan
Extinct greyling fish of  New Zealand
Last record of grayling fishing 1923. 30 to 40 were caught.
Extinct huia bird

Photos of Huia click here Dr Paddy Ryan

Extinct bird