Helpful websites for exploring NZ nature

Here are some of our favourite websites for getting to know New Zealand species. If your favourite site is not on our list, please let us know at

Get to know New Zealand birds

NZ Birds Online
The authoritative online encyclopaedia of all NZ birds, complete with photos and sounds.

Identify common NZ forest birds
A short online self-guided course from the Department of Conservation.

Get to know New Zealand lizards and frogs

Atlas of the amphibians and reptiles of New Zealand
The Department of Conservation's information on NZ geckos, skinks and frogs.

NZ Frogs
A website on the NZ frogs from the University of Otago's NZ Frog Research Group.

Get to know New Zealand freshwater fish

Intergalaxiid: New Zealand Native Fish
A web guide to NZ galaxiid fish (like whitebait).

NIWA Atlas of NZ Freshwater Fishes
Lots of information on NZ freshwater fish from NZ's National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research.

Get to know New Zealand plants

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
NZPCN has an extensive set of fact sheets for NZ plants.

Landcare Research plant identification keys
Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research staff have built many excellent online keys to different groups of plants, including Coprosma, orchids, grasses, weeds, and all flowering plant genera.

New Zealand Native Orchids
The website of the NZ orchid group, with lots of information about the species.

New Zealand Weeds
Kerry Harrington's guide to many common NZ weeds.

NZ Nature Services
Learn about the native plants most suitable to plant in your area of NZ.

AVH: the Australasian Virtual Herbarium
See distribution maps of herbarium specimens in Australia and New Zealand.

Flora of New Zealand and New Zealand Flora
All of the Flora series books are full text online at the Flora of New Zealand (beware the technical botanical jargon) and a regularly updated eFlora of NZ is at New Zealand Flora.

National Vegetation Survey databank
All of the standard plant monitoring data are available through NVS, plus a lot of documentation on the standard NZ methods for plant monitoring.

Notable trees of New Zealand
All the notable trees in NZ as officially recognised by the New Zealand Tree Register (NZTR).

Get to know New Zealand terrestrial invertebrates

What is this bug?
Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research's beginners' guide to insects and other terrestrial invertebrates.

Search on NZ plants and get a list of the insects found on them, or vice versa.

Larger moths of New Zealand
A gallery of lots of the larger moths of New Zealand.

Larger moths of the North Island
Tony Steer's iNaturalist Guide to Macro-Moths of New Zealand's North Island.

Micro-Moths of the upper North Island
Tony Steer's iNaturalist Guide to Micro-Moths of New Zealand's Kauri Kingdom.

NZ Butterfly Info
Robert Arter-Williamson's guide to all the New Zealand butterflies and their natural history.

Selected New Zealand cicada species
This site includes lots of sound recordings as well as photos.

A virtual ID guide to NZ cicadas
An interactive identification key for NZ cicadas.

Free and full text searchable access to PDFs of all the important publications in NZ entomology.

Get to know New Zealand fungi

What is this fungus?
Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research's beginner's guide to identifying fungi.

The Hidden Forest
Clive Shirley's amazing guide to NZ fungi.

Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research's database with information on all fungi, plant associated bacteria and viruses. You will need to know the scientific name to look something up.

Jerry Cooper's iNaturalist NZ journal
Jerry Cooper is a mycologist at Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research. His iNaturalist NZ journal includes helpful posts about the identification of many NZ fungi, including ink caps, amanitas, and many more.

Get to know New Zealand marine species

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre resources
The University of Otago's resources for learning about marine species, including the Marine Metre Squared project for citizen science monitoring of tide pools.

The informative website on sea life from the Seafriends Marine Conservation and Education Centre in Leigh, Auckland.

New Zealand Mollusca
Andrew Spurgeon's useful and extensive guide to NZ molluscs.

Identify NZ species from their footprints

NZ Tracker
A website devoted to helping you ID footprints of NZ animals (mammals, birds, lizards).

All New Zealand species names

New Zealand Organisms Register
NZOR lists all NZ species. You can see a species' taxonomic information and whether or not it's native. You can also batch upload a list of species and NZOR with attempt to automatically match them all to current names. You also download lists of species names.

New Zealand species distributions

New Zealand data in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility
GBIF contains information on the occurrence of organisms harvested in real-time from many databases within New Zealand and elsewhere in the world. It includes 'research grade' observations from iNaturalist NZ.

Revised on August 14, 2023 09:32 AM by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan