Which threatened species are present in Ulva Island-Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve?

Species and classification

The table below lists the threatened and at risk species that have been observed in the marine reserve. The species are classified using the New Zealand Threat Classification System.

Threatened and at risk species observed in the marine reserve

Common and Māori name


Threat status

Great white shark, mangō taniwha, mangō ururoa 

Carcharodon carcharias 

Gradual decline

Bottlenose dolphin, terehu 

Tursiops truncatus 

Nationally Endangered

New Zealand sealion/pakake/whakahao 

Phocarctos hookeri

Nationally Critical

Black corals

Antipathidae spp.

Range restricted

Hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin

Megadyptes antipodes

Nationally Vulnerable

Fiordland crested penguin, tawaki

Eudyptes pachyrhynchus

Nationally Endangered

Little penguin, kororā

Eudyptula minor


Southern New Zealand dotterel, tūturiwhatu

Charadrius obscurus


Nationally Critical

White-fronted tern, tara

Sterna striata


Stewart Island shag, kawau

Leucocarbo chalconotus

Nationally Vulnerable

Pied shag, karuhiruhi

Phalacrocorax varius

Nationally Vulnerable

Variable oystercatcher, tōrea pango

Haematopus unicolor


Great white voyagers

Great white shark.
Great white shark
Image: Clinton Duffy ©

Electronic tracking tags are revealing the secrets of the great white sharks that live around Stewart Island and visit the marine reserve. 

DOC shark researcher Clinton Duffy says, “While I had some records of white sharks from Paterson Inlet before the start of the research, we had no knowledge of how often they occurred there. We found that the sharks spend most of their time at the Titi/Muttonbird Islands but from time to time make short excursions (sometimes several at once) into the mouth of the inlet, with a few moving further into it.” 

The tags have also tracked the Stewart Island sharks travelling to subantarctic islands, eastern Australia, the Coral Sea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga –­ and back again. It’s not uncommon for a shark to travel 100 km per day. 

“We expected to see sharks travelling between New Zealand and southern Australia, but we had no idea about the details. We found they go much further north, moving seasonally to northern New South Wales, the southern Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea.” 


Big fish, calm sea – white shark tagging off Stewart Island.
A great white shark in Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve, filmed by the DOC team during their survey work.


See also research and monitoring.

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