Karearea Overview

falcon flying.jpgThe New Zealand falcon is a beautiful and iconic bird and the country’s only endemic raptor.
Whereas once they were found throughout New Zealand, these days they are mostly confined to steep high country, craggy ranges and in heavy bush.
 
The natural tendency to build their nest on the ground or in rocky outcrops, places the eggs and chicks at risk from introduced species such as feral cats, hedgehogs, pigs and goats. No current figures are available, but there are thought to be less than 3000 pairs of falcons left in the wild, making the species one of New Zealand’s most 
 
endangered.
 
While small in size, (the female weighs approximately 500g, the male, 350g,) they are a fearless predator, with their preferred diet being introduced birds caught in mid air.
 
Reaching speeds of up to 200 kph when hunting, they are New Zealand’s fastest animal.
 
20 note.jpg
The falcon features on the back of the New Zealand $20 note and has been a protected species since 1970.
 
Despite this they are still at risk from humans, who have misconceptions about the species.