Upper Waitaki zone biodiversity

Wide open basins are set against a backdrop of the highest mountain peaks in the country, forming a striking contrast in a dramatic landscape packed with unusual features.




There are many nationally rare and threatened ecosystems found in the zone, including inland alluvial surfaces, inland dune systems, ephemeral wetlands (kettleholes), and braided rivers.

Threatened native fish species include: lowland longjaw galaxias, big nose galaxias, upland longjaw galaxias, longfin eel and koaro.

37 native wetland/river birds are found in the Upper Waitaki, with 20 of those species listed as threatened. The six most threatened species are grey duck, white heron, black stilt (all nationally critical), followed by bittern, black-fronted tern and black-billed gull (nationally endangered). 16 native terrestrial bird species, including five threatened species, have been identified in the Upper Waitaki zone. Those threatened species are: eastern falcon, rock wren, South Island rifleman, kea and long-tailed cuckoo.

Many threatened invertebrate species have been identified in the Upper Waitaki Zone. The Canterbury knobbled weevil was thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered recently in the Burkes Pass area.

Information taken from: Benn, J. (2011) Interim report of intrinsic values of the upper Waitaki River catchment. Dept of Conservation. Report prepared for the Upper Waitaki Zone Committee.