Pest animals can have negative impacts on resources, natural environments, wildlife and commercial crops.

All of New Zealand’s pest animals were brought here from overseas, either by accident or on purpose, and many have flourished in the absence of their natural predators.

Argentine ant

Argentine ant

Will sometimes bite and gives a light greasy odour when crushed

paper wasps

Asian and Australian paper wasps

Smaller than common and German wasps, they are known to prey on monarch butterflies. 

Darwin’s ant

Darwin’s ant

Often found in towns or cities with ports, the Darwins ant will give off a strong odor when crushed. 

Eastern rosella

Eastern rosella

Brightly coloured parrot with a distinctive red head, with white cheek patches.

Feral cats

Feral cats

Different from a stray cat, who still have interactions with humans; feral cats are completely wild.

Feral goat

Feral goats

Goats can travel relatively large distances and are well known for climbing or breaking down fences. 

Ferrets

Ferrets

Significant predator that preys on a variety of native species birds, lizards, frogs, eggs, eels and insects.

German and common wasps

German and common wasps

New Zealand has the highest densities of wasps in the world due to the lack of natural predators.

Hedgehogs

Small nocturnal mammal with a body mostly covered in up to 6000 brown and white spikes.

Magpies

Magpies

Introduced from Australia in the 1860s to control pastoral insect pests. Known to harass and sometimes kill a variety of other birds.

Norway and ship rats

Norway and ship rats

Norway rats came with early settlers in the late 1700s, ship rats became established after 1860s.

Plague skinks

Plague skinks

A small lizard, measuring about 3-4 cm excluding its long thin tail. Probably arrived accidentally via cargo from Australia.

Possums

Possums

Introduced from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur industry. An economic and environmental threat to New Zealand.

Rooks

Rooks

Rooks are large, glossy, purplish-black bird with a prominent, powerful bill.

Stoats

Stoats

Introduced from Europe in the 1880s to control rabbits, they are an aggressive  and relentless hunter.

Wallaby

Wallaby

Dama wallaby are cautious and nocturnal (they sleep during the day), so can be difficult to detect.

Weasels

Weasels

Introduced from Europe in the 1880s to control rabbits. Significant predator that preys on a variety of native birds, lizards, eggs, and insects.

Wild mice

Wild mice

The first mouse arrived in New Zealand via Australia when the ship ‘Henrietta’ ran ashore on Ruapuke Island off Stewart Island in 1824.

Wild rabbits

Wild rabbits

Wild rabbits are largely an agricultural pest and they compete with livestock for pasture.