Introduction

Many of the seabirds, wading birds and marine life found in New Zealand are identified in the Migratory Species Convention.

New Zealand is a party to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) which came into force for New Zealand on 1 October 2000, following the Government's signing of the Convention in September 1999.

While in New Zealand's territory, migratory species are protected by domestic legislation such as the Wildlife Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

The New Zealand region is home to a number of species named in the CMS and many other migratory species. It has probably the greatest diversity of seabirds in the world, with 84 breeding species – 42% of which breed only in New Zealand waters, nine of these species are globally threatened.

Five endangered species of marine turtles may be found in our waters and over 30 species of whales and dolphins, many of which are migratory; these include the southern right whale, sperm whale and humpback whale. New Zealand is also at the southern end of the eastern Asian flyway for migratory wading birds, such as the godwit.

The species identified in the Convention and that may be found in New Zealand are:

Appendix I (endangered species)

Cetacea – Whales

  • Physeter macrocephalus, Sperm whale
  • Balaenoptera borealis, Sei whale
  • Balaenoptera physalus, Fin whale
  • Balaenoptera musculus, Blue whale
  • Megaptera novaeangliae, Humpback whale
  • Balaena australis, Southern right whale

Testudinata –Turtles

  • Chelonia mydas, Green sea turtle
  • Caretta caretta, Loggerhead sea turtle
  • Eretmochelys imbricate, Hawksbill turtle
  • Lepidochelys olivacea, Olive Ridley turtle
  • Dermochelys coriacea, Leatherback, leathery turtle or Luth

Lamniformes – Sharks

  • Carcharodon carcharias, Great white shark
  • Cetorhinus maximus, Basking shark

Mobulidae – Rays

  • Manta birostris, Manta ray
  • Mobula japonica, Spine-tailed devil ray

Charadriiformes – Aquatic birds

  • Calidris tenuirostris, Great Knot

Appendix II (other species) 

Cetacea – Whales, Dolphins and Porposies

  • Physeter macrocephalus, Sperm whale
  • Phocoena dioptrica, Spectacled porpoise
  • Lagenorhynchus obscurus, Dusky dolphin

Procellariiformes – Seabirds

  • Diomedea exulans, Wandering albatross
  • Diomedea epomophora, Royal albatross
  • Diomedea melanophris, Black-browed mollymawk
  • Diomedea bulleri, Buller's mollymawk
  • Diomedea cauta, White-capped (shy) mollymawk)
  • Diomedea chlororhynchos, Yellow-nosed mollymawk
  • Diomedea chrysostoma, Grey-headed mollymawk
  • Phoebetria palpebrata, Light-mantled sooty albatross
  • Macronectes giganteus, Southern giant petrel
  • Macronectes halli, Northern giant petrel
  • Procellaria cinerea, Grey petrel
  • Procellaria aequinoctialis, White-chinned petrel
  • Procellaria parkinsoni, Black (Parkinson's) petrel
  • Procellaria westlandica, Westland petrel

Charadriiformes – Aquatic birds

  • Himantopus himantopus, Black-winged stilt
  • Pluvialis squatarola, Grey plover
  • Charadrius hiaticula, Ringed plover
  • Charadrius mongolus, Mongolian plover
  • Charadrius leschenaultia, Large sand plover
  • Limosa limosa, Black-tailed godwit
  • Limosa lapponica, Bar-tailed godwit
  • Numenius phaeopus, Whimbrel
  • Tringa stagnatilis, Marsh sandpiper
  • Tringa nebularia, Greenshank
  • Tringa hypoleucos, Common sandpiper
  • Arenaria interpres, Turnstone
  • Calidris tenuirostris, Great knot
  • Calidris canutus, Knot
  • Calidris alba, Sanderling
  • Calidris minuta, Little stint
  • Calidris alpine, Dunlin
  • Calidris ferruginea, Curlew sandpiper
  • Limicola falcinellus, Broad-billed sandpiper
  • Philomachus pugnax, Ruff
  • Phalaropus lobatus, Red-necked phalarope
  • Phalaropus fulicaria, Grey phalarope
  • Sterna albifrons, Sanderling

Orectolobiformes – Carpet sharks

  • Rhincodon typus, Whale shark

Mobulidae – Rays

  •  Mobula japonica, Spine-tailed devil ray

Lamniformes – Sharks

  • Alopias superciliosus, Bigeye thresher shark
  • Alopias vulpinus, Common thresher shark
  • Carcharhinus falciformis, Silky shark
  • Cetorhinus maximus, Basking shark
  • Isurus oxyrinchus, Shortfin mako shark
  • Lamna nasus, Porbeagle shark
  • Sphyrna mokarran, Great hammerhead
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