Wild Futures – Conserving New Zealand’s threatened species

Every year, tens of thousands of people happily give their time to support conservation and environmental projects throughout New Zealand.

Some of the most rewarding work is supporting the many threatened species. Volunteering can be as simple as weeding or planting to improve habitat, or as complex as monitoring and controlling pests.

Wild Futures provides practical, on-the-ground actions that work. Working with species experts, we bring resources and volunteers together to make a real difference to a place, a space or a species to enable them to survive and thrive.

Working better by working together

We work with the Department of Conservation (DOC) for technical and scientific expertise and advice. Together, we connect more people to nature to help create lasting, positive changes for our most vulnerable species.

If you share our vision to work together to save threatened species from extinction – support Wild Futures today.

Meet Our Species

Long-finned Eel/Tuna

Tuna are a taonga, having graced our rivers, streams and wetlands for millions of years. Habitat loss and degradation, together with up-stream barriers preventing migratory breeding have impacted heavily on tuna numbers.


Once common across the country, kōkako are now limited to small areas of native bush in the north island with  an estimated 1400 breeding pairs remaining.

Little Penguin/Korora

The world’s smallest penguin, Korora numbers are steadily declining due to habitat loss and predators.


Known for their boisterous behaviour and raucous calls, kaka numbers have been decimated by both predation and habitat loss.

Westland Petrel/Tāiko

The Westland Petrel Special protected Area, in the foothills of the Paparoa Range, is the only breeding site for the Westland Petrel. Urban development, habitat loss and predation all threaten their long-term survival.

New Zealand Sea Lion/Rāpoka/Whakahao

One of the rarest and most-endangered sea-lions in the world. Once common throughout the country, the New Zealand sea lion is now found only in very limited southern locations.

Why we need to act

1000+ threatened species in New Zealand today

New Zealand, sadly, has one of the highest rates of species loss in the world. A 2008 survey by IUCN found New Zealand topped the list of 130 countries for the percentage of animal species threatened with extinction. Whilst considerable resources are expended in attempting to reverse these processes, with some significant successes, there remains a huge amount of work to be done if we are to prevent the loss of some of New Zealand’s most iconic wildlife.

There are a number of factors that have impacted on species loss in New Zealand, but the two most critical are undoubtedly the introduction of animal pests and the loss of habitat.

Working with the experts in recovery programmes, and the many dedicated community-based organisations, the Wild Futures programme can and will make a genuine contribution to halting the dramatic rate of species loss here in Aoteroa.

Conservation Volunteers is taking action

Join us in ensuring the survival of our 6 Wild Future species that have been chosen because the species is at risk, and where volunteer action can make a demonstrable benefit to the survival of the species.  Volunteers can be involved in:

  • Monitoring species
  • Improving and restoring habitat
  • Controlling pest plants and animals
  • Working  in partnership with communities and conservation experts

What can you do?

Help Conservation Volunteers build a sustainable future for our native plants and animals by:

Donating to support our work

Volunteer on one our projects supporting Wild Futures for a day, or a week…..your actions genuinely do make a difference (add link to volunteering page)

Become a member