- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
Catalog Number: USNM A13862
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Birds
Sex/Stage: Male; Adult
Preparation: Skin: Whole
Collector(s): Collector Unknown
Locality: Bay of Islands, Bay Of Islands, North Island, New Zealand, Australia
- Type: Peale. 1848. U.S. Exploring Expedition. 8 (mamm. and orn.): 67, pl. xviii.
Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Falco novaeseelandiae
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2008Near Threatened
- 2004Near Threatened
- 1988Near Threatened
CITES Appendix II. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the three populations and ascertain trends. Evaluate threats if declines are confirmed. Implement control measures against the brush-tailed possum. Raise awareness of the species's status, particularly amongst farmers, in an effort to reduce persecution. Protect areas of suitable habitat.
New Zealand Falcon
The New Zealand Falcon or Kārearea (Falco novaeseelandiae) is New Zealand's only endemic falcon and the only remaining bird of prey endemic to New Zealand. Other common names for the bird are Bush Hawk and Sparrow Hawk. It is frequently mistaken for the larger and more common Swamp Harrier.
A member of the Falconidae bird family, the New Zealand Falcon is mainly found in heavy bush and the steep high country in the South Island and is rarely seen north of a line through the central area of the North Island. A small population also breeds on the Auckland Islands; the species is known from the Chatham Islands from fossil remains. Although protected since 1970, it is considered to be a threatened species.
Ornithologists variously described the New Zealand Falcon as an aberrant hobby or as allied to three South American species (F. deiroleucus, F. rufigularis and F. femoralis); however studies of feather proteins suggest a close tie with the Australian Brown Falcon.
It differs from the much larger Swamp Harrier, (or Kāhu), which is common throughout New Zealand, in that it catches other birds on the wing, and seldom eats carrion. An aggressive bird that displays great violence when defending its territory, the New Zealand Falcon has been reported to attack dogs as well as people.
With a wingspan of about 45 cm and weight rarely exceeding 450g, the New Zealand Falcon is slightly over half the size of the Swamp Harrier, which it usually attacks on sight. The male is about two thirds the weight of the female.
The New Zealand Falcon nests in a scrape in grassy soil or humus in various locations: under a rock on a steep slope or on a rock ledge, among epiphytic plants on a tree branch, or under a log or branch on the ground, making the two or three eggs that they lay vulnerable to predators such as stray cats, stoats, weasels, possum, and wild dogs.
Falcons for Grapes programme
In 2005 funding was given by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry towards a programme that uses the falcons to control birds that damage grapes and act as pests in vineyards as well as monitoring the birds and establishing a breeding population in the vicinity of the Marlborough wine region. Initially, four falcons were relocated to the vineyards from the surrounding hills. After the release of a further 15 birds breeding began to occur - the first time it is thought to have happened since land clearance 150 years ago. A major ongoing threat to the birds is electrocution on electricity distribution transformers with a fifth of the birds killed in this manner.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Falco novaeseelandiae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Department of Conservation". Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J., eds. (1993). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-19-553069-1.
- Heather, Barrier; Robertson, Hugh (2005). The Field Guide of the Birds of New Zealand (Revised ed.). North Shore, New Zealand: Penguin Books. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-0-14-302040-0.
- Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J., eds. (1993). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 287. ISBN 0-19-553069-1.
- Robertson, C.J.R., ed. (1985). Reader's Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Surry Hills, NSW: Reader's Digest. pp. 154–155. ISBN 0-949819-97-2.
- "SFF Project Summary". Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Falcons Return to Wairau Plain". Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (press release). 2007-12-13. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "Protection sought for vineyard falcons". Radio New Zealand. 2010-02-25. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- 2006 New Zealand Falcon coin sets. Accessed 6 April 2006.
- Crichton, Sandy (May 2009), "On a wing and a prayer", Forest & Bird: 21–25
- Seaton, Richard (2007), "The ecological requirements of the New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) in plantation forestry.", Unpublished PhD thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North
- Thomas, Andrew C.W. (2008), "The Behaviour and Development of New Zealand Falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) Nesting in a Plantation Forest.", Unpublished MSc thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North