30 conservation organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand have pledged to protect 50 species as part of the first World Species Congress in history.  

The World Species Congress is an international biodiversity event taking place today, May 15th, 2024, in conservation centers around the world with over 7000 individuals and 190 countries participating. Planned and hosted by Reverse the Red, and co-chaired by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Congress provides opportunities for international conservation collaboration.  

“The World Species Congress is an opportunity for countries around the world to create new commitments both to conservation action, and to collaboration within their own nations”, says WAZA President and Te Nukuao Wellington Zoo Chief Executive, Karen Fifield MNZM. 

“Attendees will participate in 24 hours of non-stop keynotes, panels and workshops designed to forge relationships that will amplify species protection around the world”. 

As part of the Congress, New Zealand conservation organisations have committed to protecting wildlife through the signing of a national pledge. The pledge requires the conservation organisations involved to state how they’re going to measure the outcomes, by 2030, of the species project they’re working on.  

The signing of the pledge took place at Te Nukuao Wellington Zoo and was attended by major conservation organisations including the Department of Conservation, members of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia, Forest and Bird, and members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Organisations committed to protecting native species including Whitaker’s skinks, North Island brown kiwi, and Mahoenui giant wētā.  

“New Zealand has an extraordinary number of threatened species: 94 percent of reptile species, 82 percent of bird species, 80 percent of bat species, 76 percent of freshwater fish species, 75 percent of frog species, 46 percent of vascular plant species, and 22 percent of marine mammal species are in trouble. As a country we need to stop seeing this as normal, and champion the change we want to see. All the organisations who have made pledges are champions for a future where nature thrives”, says Geoff Key, Chair of IUCN NZ and Strategic Advisor for Forest and Bird.  

The pledge will connect the work of 30 Aotearoa conservation organisations and manifest a key goal of both the World Species Congress and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework: seeking collaboration to increase the impact of our conservation actions.  


About the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework: 

In 2022, 196 countries committed to the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework with a vision that: By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.  

These countries also agreed to meet Target #4 by 2030, where: threatened species are recovering, genetic diversity is being maintained and human-wildlife conflict is being managed.  


The species pledge: 

We, the organisations attending the Aotearoa New Zealand national satellite event for the 2024 World Species Congress, are committed to helping Aotearoa New Zealand and the world meet Target 4 of the Global Biodiversity Framework. 

To show our commitment to species conservation, and to allow us to build collaborations and collate our work, we commit to working to protect, conserve, and recover the following species: 


Blue Cradle 

Kororā (Eudyptula minor) 


Butterfly Creek 

Wētāpunga (Deinacrida heteracantha) 

Northern brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) 


Capital Kiwi 

Northern brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) 

Dunedin Botanic Gardens 

South Island kākā (Nestor meridionalis) 


Forest and Bird 

Tautuku gecko/Blue-eyed gecko/Southern Forest gecko (Mokopirirakau spp.) 

Hīhī (Notiomystis cincta) 


Hamilton Zoo at Te Kaaroro Nature Precinct   

Little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii 


Kea Conservation Trust 

Kea (Nestor notabilis) 


Kiwi North 

Forest gecko (Mokopirirakau granulatus) 

Elegant gecko (Naultinus elegans) 

Kahukura/Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa gonerilla) 

Black mudfish (Neochanna diversus) 

Northland tusked wētā (Anisoura nicobarica) 

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari 

North island robin (Petroica longipes) 

Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) 

Hīhī (Notiomystis cincta) 

Kākāpō (Strigops habroptila) 

Northern brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) 

Kākā (Nestor meridionalis) 

Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) 

Forest gecko (Mokopirirakau granulatus) 

Hochstetter’s frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri) 

Mahoenui giant wētā (Deinacrida mahoenui) 

Tieke (Philesturnus rufusater) 

North Island kōkako (Callaeas wilsoni) 

Yellow crowned kākāriki (Cyanoramphus auriceps) 

North Island tītīpounamu (Acanthisitta chloris granti) 

Whitehead/Pōpokotea (Mohoua albicilla) 



South Island kākā (Nestor meridionalis) 


New Zealand Penguin Initiative 

Little penguin/kororā (Eudyptula minor) 


Ngā Manu Trust 

North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) 

Yellow-fronted parakeet/Kākāriki (Cyanoramphus auriceps) 

Whitaker's New Zealand skink (Oligosoma whitakeri) 

Whio/blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) 

Pāteke/brown teal (Anas chlorotis) 

Wellington green gecko (Naultinus punctatus) 

Kahukura/Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa gonerilla) 

Pua o te Reinga (Dactylanthus taylorii) 

NZ pygmy mistletoe (Korthalsella salicornioides) 


Orana Wildlife Trust 

Orange-fronted parakeet/Kākāriki karaka (Cyanoramphus malherbi) 

Canterbury spotted skink (Oligosoma lineoocellatum) 

Canterbury boulder copper butterfly/Pepe para riki (Lycaena boldenarum) 

Canterbury mudfish/Kōwaro (Neochanna burrowsius) 

Maud Island frog (Leiopelma pakeka) 

Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) 


Ōtorohanga Kiwi House 

Mahoenui giant wētā (Deinacrida mahoenui) 

New Zealand short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata) 

New Zealand long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) 


South Island Kōkako Charitable Trust 

South Island kōkako (Callaeas cinerea) 


Te Nukuao Tūroa o Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington Zoo Trust 

Whitaker’s skink (Oligosoma whitakeri) 

Wellington green gecko (Naultinus punctatus) 


Wellington Gardens 


Cooper’s black potato orchid (Gastrodia coopereae) 

Juncus holoschoenus 

Celmisia aff. gracilenta (b) (CHR 469722; Mangaweka) 

Rātā moehau (Metrosideros bartlettii) 


West Coast Penguin Trust 

Kororā (Eudyptula minor) 

Tawaki (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) 


Western Bay Wildlife Trust 

Kororā (Eudyptula minor) 

Grey-faced petrel (Pterodroma gouldi) 

Northern New Zealand dotterel/ Tūturiwhatu (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius) 


Willowbank Wildlife Reserve 

Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) 

World Wide Fund for Nature New Zealand (WWF New Zealand) 

Antipodean albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) 


Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne 

North Island kākā (Nestor meridionalis) 

kiwi pukupuku (Apteryx owenii) 

Hamilton's frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) 

Hīhī (Notiomystis cincta) 

Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri) 


The following organisations commit to helping Aotearoa and the world meet target 4 of the Global Biodiversity Framework without a species-specific focus:  


Celia Wade-Brown QSO, Member of Parliament, Green Party 

Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO) 

National Aquarium of New Zealand 

New Zealand Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature 

New Zealand Conservation Authority 

Predator Free 2050 Limited 

World Commission on Protected Areas 

Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia