Upper Buller

Site description (2014 baseline):

Key biodiversity

IBA Trigger species: Black-billed Gull, Black-fronted Tern

Besides the trigger species the following are confirmed or likely to be breeding: Black Shag, Little Shag, White-faced Heron, Canada Goose, Paradise Shelduck, Grey Duck/Mallard, Australasian Harrier, NZ Falcon, Pu-keko, South Island Pied Oystercatcher, Banded Dotterel, Spur-winged Plover, Southern Black-backed Gull, NZ Pigeon, Shin-ing Cuckoo, Morepork, NZ Kingfisher, Welcome Swallow, NZ Pipit, Grey Warbler, South Island Fantail, South Island Tomtit, Silvereye, Bellbird, Tui. Skylark, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll, House Sparrow, Starling.

Kaka (EN), Red-crowned Parakeet (VU), Yellow-crowned Parakeet (NT), Rifleman, Brown Creeper and NZ Robin have been recorded in adjacent forest areas (Atlas of Bird Distribution in NZ 2007).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity

Human disturbance - Yes - Anthropogenic disturbance due to multiple lake, river and riverbed users can impact on breeding and feeding seabirds and shorebirds.

Predation by alien species - Yes - Feral cats, rats and hedgehogs are present within the site. Dogs can also be a problem. Trapping and riverbed group activities and presence can mitigate impacts a and b.

Habitat loss or degradation - Yes - Flooding can impact on nest sites

Contamination - Yes - 

Natural disaster - Yes - 

Parasite or pathogen - No 

Other - No 

Protected areas

Howard River Valley - Scientific Reserve - 4ha - Protected area contained by site

Nuggety (Creek) Road - Conservation Area - 3ha - Protected area contained by site

Buller River (Thurlow) - Conservation Area - 23ha - Protected area contained by site

Riverbed Buller River - Conservation Area - 28ha - Protected area contained by site

Matakitaki River - Conservation Area - 4ha - Protected area contained within site

Maruia River Paenga - Conservation Area - Protected area contained within site

The IBA includes small river sections of the following: Kahurangi National Park, Big Bush Conservation Area, Glenhope Scenic Reserve, Owen River Scenic Reserve, Maruia Falls Scenic Reserve, Matakitaki West Conservation Area, Shenando-ah Scenic Reserve, Matakitaki South Conservation Area, Matakitaki River Headwaters conservation Area. There are also some Marginal Strips and one Local Purpose Reserve (Ferry).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Upper Buller. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.