Animal species in Marlborough

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Due to New Zealand's geographical isolation during its formation, Marlborough like the rest of the country, has virtually no indigenous mammals. One of New Zealand's two native bat species is found in the region in the Pelorus Bridge reserve. Other vertebrates are limited to a variety of bird species, some small reptiles and amphibians, and a variety of freshwater and marine fish. A wide variety of invertebrates are found in the region.

The region is particularly rich in bird life, including a range of migratory birds and species that have introduced themselves from Australia. Many European birds have been introduced and have become naturalised, including some, such as the cirl bunting which has become endangered in its natural habitat in Europe.

A variety of deliberately introduced mammals have become pest species as in other parts of New Zealand, and the same applies to a variety of invertebrates such as various wasp species.

Red billed gull - Kaikoura coast

Birds species in Marlborough

A selection of bird species found in Marlborough, New Zealand

A ray glides through shallow water in Umungata Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound

Fish Species in Marlborough

With around 20% of New Zealand's coastline, and several lakes, Marlborough provides a habitat for a wide range of fish species, including several unique to Marlborough.


Invertebrates are a diverse range of animals that includes worms, molluscs, insects, arachnids, crustaceans and more, defined by their lack of backbone.

Fur seals basking on a rock in the Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Mammals

Marlborough, like the rest of New Zealand has virtually no terrestrial mammals, however does provide a home to a number of marine mammals.


A unique reptile which is the sole living member of the Rhynchochocephalia order of reptiles which dates from the time of the dinosaurs.