There are many sites to help you identify and describe our plants and animals.

Threat classifications

IUCN Red list 
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has developed the Red List programme to classify threats to species survival.

New Zealand Threat Classification System lists
New Zealand species are categorised according to their threat of extinction.

Identifying plants and animals


iNaturalist NZ – Mātaki Taiao
Browse observations, join the iNaturalist community, and ask for help on identification.

Landcare Research plants, animals and fungi
Landcare Research maintains an online guide to New Zealand’s plants, animals, fungi, algae, amd invertebrates.

Aquatic flora and fauna quick guides and tools
Freshwater and marine biodiversity information collected by NIWA.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
Search marine species datasets from the world's oceans.

Species 2000
Species 2000 relies on participating databases to document all known species of organisms as the baseline dataset for studies of global biodiversity. It includes a dynamic checklist to search for the scientific name of an organism and the annual checklist for all species.

World Biodiversity Database (WBD)
The WBD is building a taxonomic database and information system documenting known species in the world. It is maintained by the non-profit Expert Center for Taxonomic Identification (ETI), and based on an initiative by UNESCO.


NZ Flora
The most authoritative, accurate, and up to date information on New Zealand plants.

Landcare Researc flora identification keys and guides
Guides and interactive keys to identifying New Zealand flora.

Descriptions and photos of most of the recognised species, where to find them, flowering times, and online editions of the Native Orchid Group's Journals.

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network 
Administers a database of New Zealand’s nationally threatened and uncommon plant and fungi species.

Weed identification guides. 


Amphibians and reptiles
This is maintained by DOC and identifies frog, lizard, and gecko species in New Zealand.

Atlas of New Zealand Freshwater Fishes
Provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), this Atlas describes the distinguishing characteristics of each fish family in New Zealand fresh waters and the species in that family that occur here.

A checklist of mollusca found in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone, including endemic and adventive species. Every entry includes a bibliographic reference for the record, and approximate geographical range.

New Zealand Birds Online
The digital encyclopedia of New Zealand birds.

Spiders of New Zealand
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa maintains this site with information and images about New Zealand’s spiders.

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