Farewell Spit

Site description (2014 baseline):

Site location and context

Key biodiversity
Trigger species: Australasian Gannet, Black-billed Gull, Black-fronted Tern, New Zealand Dotterel, Australasian Bittern.

Besides the trigger species the following are confirmed or likely to be breeding or resident: Pied Shag, Black Shag, Little Shag, White-faced Heron, Black Swan, Canada Goose, Paradise Shelduck, Mallard, Grey Duck, Grey Teal, NZ Shoveler, NZ Scaup, Australasian Harrier, Banded Rail, Pukeko, Australian Coot, Variable Oystercatcher, Pied Stilt, Banded Dotterel, Spur-winged Plover, Southern Black-backed Gull, Red-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, White-fronted Tern, NZ Pigeon, Morepork, Little Owl, California Quail, NZ Kingfisher, Welcome Swallow, NZ Pipit, South Island Fernbird, Grey Warbler, South Island Fantail, Silvereye, Skylark, Hedge Sparrow, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cirl Bunting, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll, House Sparrow, Starling.

Other species recorded: Little Black Shag, Spotted Shag, Royal Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, NZ Falcon, South Island Pied Oyster-catcher, Black Stilt (CR), Eastern Bar-tailed Godwit, Asiatic Black-tailed Godwit, Red (Lesser) Knot, Turnstone, Pacific Gold-en Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Far-eastern Curlew, Asiatic Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Large Sand Plover, Wrybill (VU), NZ Dotterel (EN), Brown Skua.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Human disturbance – Yes
Predation by alien species – Yes
Habitat loss or degradation – Yes
Contamination – No
Natural disaster – Yes
Other – No

Protected areas

Farewell Spit is listed as a wetland of international importance (103) under the Ramsar Convention on 13 August 1976.

Farewell Spit - Nature Reserve - Protected Area contained within site

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Farewell Spit. Downloaded from on 27/02/2024.