Critter of the Week

An insight into New Zealand's 'less attractive' threatened native species. Brought to you by DOC's Threatened Species Ambassador Nicola Toki and featured on Radio New Zealand.
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The forest ringlet butterfly. The demise of the forest ringlet is a bit of a conservation mystery – once widespread, there are now only a few places where you can see this lowland butterfly – to the point where butterfly lovers in NZ have called in a butterfly expert from overseas to shine a light on the facts.

The forest ringlet butterfly. The demise of the forest ringlet is a bit of a conservation mystery – once widespread, there are now only a few places where you can see this lowland butterfly – to the point where butterfly lovers in NZ have called in a butterfly expert from overseas to shine a light on the facts.

The Cook Strait click beetle. Its name comes from the ‘clicking’ device that links between the front and back part of the thorax on the beetles’ underside.

The Cook Strait click beetle. Its name comes from the ‘clicking’ device that links between the front and back part of the thorax on the beetles’ underside.

The koura, or freshwater crayfish, is dark green and mottled like the stones it lives amongst on stream bottoms. They take four years to grow only two centimeters.

The koura, or freshwater crayfish, is dark green and mottled like the stones it lives amongst on stream bottoms. They take four years to grow only two centimeters.

Meet the nudibranch! Nudibranchs are often brightly coloured, fragile looking, beautiful creatures – but looks can be deceiving, they can also be bottom dwellers that steal weapons from other creatures to boost their own survival!

Meet the nudibranch! Nudibranchs are often brightly coloured, fragile looking, beautiful creatures – but looks can be deceiving, they can also be bottom dwellers that steal weapons from other creatures to boost their own survival!

The Maud Island frog! This frog is very different from other frogs as it doesn't croak, doesn't hang out in water and is nocturnal. The Maud Island frog can live up to 43 years and can only move up to 1.3 meters every 10 years!

The Maud Island frog! This frog is very different from other frogs as it doesn't croak, doesn't hang out in water and is nocturnal. The Maud Island frog can live up to 43 years and can only move up to 1.3 meters every 10 years!

Pimelea actea one of New Zealand's native coastal plants. This unloved shrubby plant is categorised as nationally critical with less than 100 plants left in the wild. It can only live in the tiny dune-related swales or ‘slacks’, little depressions behind sand-dunes in the Manawatu area, and the species faces imminent extinction.

Pimelea actea one of New Zealand's native coastal plants. This unloved shrubby plant is categorised as nationally critical with less than 100 plants left in the wild. It can only live in the tiny dune-related swales or ‘slacks’, little depressions behind sand-dunes in the Manawatu area, and the species faces imminent extinction.

The cobble skink: Last known to only be found on the beach behind the Granity pub on the West Coast!

The cobble skink: Last known to only be found on the beach behind the Granity pub on the West Coast!

"A bittern is to the wetland, like a kākāpō is to the forest."

"A bittern is to the wetland, like a kākāpō is to the forest."

The native leaf veined slug grazes on fungi and algae on leaf surfaces. They're also nocturnal!

The native leaf veined slug grazes on fungi and algae on leaf surfaces. They're also nocturnal!

The Bluff weta! One of the three species of giant weta found in the Kaikoura mountains. First described in 1988 when a herpetologist was hunting for a rare black eyed gecko in the Kaikoura Ranges and found it sharing a rocky crevice with an orange-legged weta! The Bluff weta are great rock climbers and hang out in horizontal crevasses on stable, deeply fissured rock outcrops.

The Bluff weta! One of the three species of giant weta found in the Kaikoura mountains. First described in 1988 when a herpetologist was hunting for a rare black eyed gecko in the Kaikoura Ranges and found it sharing a rocky crevice with an orange-legged weta! The Bluff weta are great rock climbers and hang out in horizontal crevasses on stable, deeply fissured rock outcrops.

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