Below you can find a complete list of New Caledonian animals. We currently track 85 animals in New Caledonia and are adding more every day!
New Caledonia is a French-owned island territory around 900 miles east of Australia. It comprises many islands, but its main islands are New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, Iles des Pins, and the Belen Islands. There are also many small uninhabited islands, coral reefs, and atolls.
New Caledonia is known for its mild climate, gorgeous beaches and unspoiled waters. It is considered an ecological hotspot for its rich biodiversity and healthy coral reefs.
What is the National Animal of New Caledonia?
Its national animal is the Cagou or kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus). This bird is the last remaining member of the endemic Rhynochetidae family.
The kagu is a large, gray bird with a beautiful white crest on its head. Its gray color has given it the nickname “ghost of the forest.” It makes a unique “barking” sound when it is threatened or trying to attract a mate.
Kagus were plentiful in New Caledonia until the islands became heavily inhabited. The introduction of domestic pets and the pet trade decimated their numbers, however. Today, kagus are a protected species. Some zoos, including the San Diego Zoo and Noumea Zoo in New Caledonia, have successfully bred kagus in captivity.
Wildlife in New Caledonia
New Caledonia has been isolated from most of the world until the past two centuries. Its remoteness and isolation have created unique flora and fauna that only exist there.
Like other island countries with healthy reef systems, New Caledonia is an important nesting and feeding site for green sea turtles, whales, and killer whales. It is also a sanctuary for endangered marine mammals. The population of dugongs here is the third-largest in the world.
What Kinds of Animals Live in New Caledonia?
New Caledonia is home to almost 200 bird species and many types of marine life. Among the rare birds, you will find are the black-winged petrel, sacred kingfisher, silver gull, white tern, wandering whistling duck, and the zebra dove.
New Caledonia is noteworthy for its endemic bavayias, which are sometimes known as New Caledonian. These 12 species are small to medium-sized geckos with longer tails than other gecko species.
New Caledonia’s only mammals include several endemic bat and flying fox species. You can see the New Caledonia blossom bat (Notopteris neocaledonicus), the Loyalty Island long-fingered bat (Miniopterus robustior) and the ornate flying fox (Pteropus ornatu).
Interesting Facts About the Fauna of New Caledonia
Besides having unique species, New Caledonia is interesting for what it doesn’t have. On this island territory, there are:
- No native mammals except bats and flying foxes.
- No frogs.
- No venomous snakes.
- No malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Where Can You See the Top Wild Animals in New Caledonia?
There are several protected areas on both land and sea in New Caledonia. Blue River National Park is a sanctuary for kagu birds. The Noumea Zoo and Forest Park is a conservation site for reptiles, bats and native birds.
Parc des Grands Fougeres is a vast national park that protects hundreds of acres of rainforest and ferns.
New Caledonia’s lagoons, with their diverse reefs and associated ecosystems, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. The Natural Park of the Coral Sea protects these reefs and more than 50,000 square miles of marine ecosystems essential to the people, biodiversity and climate resilience of the Pacific islands.
This massive protected area helps preserve the health of these important ecosystems.
For local people, the lagoon provides water, food and a means of trade. Its health is vital to their unique traditions.
A Sanctuary for Endangered Wildlife
New Caledonia is famous for its diverse ecosystems and many unusual creatures. It is an important nesting and feeding site for sea turtles, dugongs, unusual bats and rare birds. Conservationists hope these islands will continue to provide shelter and sanctuary for the world’s most precious endangered species.
New Caledonian Animals
New Caledonian Animals List
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Crab Spider
- Crested Penguin
- Dung Beetle
- Glow Worm
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Marine Toad
- Monarch Butterfly
- Monitor Lizard
- River Turtle
- Sea Dragon
- Stick Insect
- Striped Rocket Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- Wolf Spider
Animals in New Caledonia FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Animals Are Extinct or Endangered in New Caledonia?
Dugongs: These gentle giants of the sea are similar to manatees. They are almost extinct everywhere, but New Caledonia is one of their chief sanctuaries.
Bats: The New Caledonia long-eared bat (Nyctophilus nebulosus), which was discovered in 1991, is an endangered endemic bat. At one time, scientists thought it was extinct, but conservationists have had confirmed recent sightings.
What Unique Animal Lives in New Caledonia, and What Makes It Unique?
The kagu, a flightless bird, is the rarest bird on the island. This flightless, endangered bird is also the national animal of New Caledonia. Kagus are known for the unusual barking noise they make when they are trying to scare off predators or other kagus.
Other unique birds endemic to New Caledonia are the New Caledonia imperial pigeon (Ducula goliath), which is the world’s largest arboreal pigeon, the cloven-feathered dove (Drepanoptila holosericea), and the New Caledonian owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles savesi), which is critically endangered.
What Are the Most Dangerous Animals in New Caledonia?
Although the country does not have venomous land snakes, it is home to two highly dangerous sea snakes. The Laboute’s sea snake (Hydrophis laboutei) and the New Caledonian sea krait (Laticauda saintgironsi) are highly venomous snakes whose bites can be fatal.
New Caledonia’s dangerous land animals include large, tropical centipedes and scorpions.