Learn about some of the seabirds you might see around New Zealand’s coast.


From Australasian gannets to yellow-eyed penguins, this beautifully presented, highly pictorial, guide explains the physical characteristics, ecology, range and potential threats of 28 different New Zealand seabirds. It also provides the current New Zealand conservation status and the Ministry of Fisheries (now Fisheries New Zealand) Species Code and Group Code for each species. All seabirds are protected in New Zealand under the Wildlife Act 1953 (except black-backed gulls).

Most of the birds in this guide breed only in New Zealand and many face a number of threats, including being bycaught in New Zealand fisheries. While some of New Zealand’s fisheries have effective mitigation measures in place to reduce the number of seabirds being killed and injured, a number of others need to better address this issue if future generations are to enjoy these remarkable birds.

Publication information

Designed by Port Group Ltd.

Technical review by Marine Bycatch and Threats Team, Department of Conservation.

Last updated January 2024.


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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