Ocean, Coastal and Beaches

New Zealand is surrounded by the beautiful Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. These waters around our island country create complex and varied habitats where thousands of marine species live and breed.

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Ocean, Coastal, and Beach Habitats

Among these thousands of animal species are the world’s rarest sea lion, penguin, dolphin, whale, and albatross. Additionally, approximately half of the world’s whales and dolphins visit or live in these habitats off of New Zealand, as well more than one-third of world’s seabird species! Some of these animals are native, some non-native, and some are endemic, meaning you can’t find them anywhere else in the world. Without these habitats and the resources they provide, where would these animals go?  

In addition to several underwater habitats, the coastal and beach areas where the water meets the shoreline create the perfect habitat combination for water and land dwelling animals. Beach sand, rocks, seaside vegetation, and cliffs are used by animals to nest, rest, and care for young. This includes the highest number of seabird species that do not breed anywhere else but Aotearoa – 38 species to be exact!

Have a look below at the amazing taonga that make ocean, coastal, and beach habitats their home, what challenges they face, and how you can help!


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