New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Southern form is Threatened–Nationally Vulnerable, Bush and Eastern forms are At Risk–Recovering

Population: Uncertain but likely between 5,000–8,000

Found in: Most of New Zealand south of Waikato, some offshore islands including Auckland Islands

Threats: Predation, habitat loss, disturbance, development impacts, human persecution, electrocution

Distribution and density

One of 38 species of falcon worldwide, the New Zealand falcon is endemic to this country.

The falcon has a wide distribution, being found on both the North and South Islands and several offshore islands, including Stewart Island and the subantarctic Auckland Islands. Recently, plantation pine forests have been found to be important breeding habitats for falcons. The highest known density of the species is found in Kaingaroa pine forest in the central North Island.

Karearea sound


Although still widespread where suitable habitat exists, numbers have declined and predation by cats, mustelids, and hedgehogs is emerging as a problem for ground nesting falcons.

It is likely that stoats and other mustelids prey on eggs and nestlings in ground and tree nests, and rats may do the same. A recent study suggests that adult falcons are less able to defend their nest from predators that previously thought. More research is needed in this area.

With thanks to the Department Of Conservation as the source for this information and images


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