• Biodiversity

Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour and the hills surrounding the Port support a wide variety of wildlife.

Our Environment Team work closely with the Department of Conservation, iwi and local experts to ensure the unique biodiversity of our environment is protected.

Marine birds

Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō is used or visited by at least 42 species of marine birds including the white flippered penguin, shags, and black billed gull. Some of these species frequent the Port for parts of their life cycle such as foraging, resting, breeding and moulting. Many of these species are rare or endangered and are therefore of particular interest to manage appropriately, including ensuring that Port activities do not adversely affect them.


Four species of native lizards are found on LPC land including the Waitaha gecko, Canterbury grass skink, McCann’s skink and Jewelled gecko. Waitaha geckos from our Gollans Bay Quarry were released in Riccarton Bush last year. All New Zealand geckos are fully protected, meaning they may only be handled, collected or kept in captivity under permit.

Marine Mammals

Two species of marine mammal are regularly found in and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō; Tūpoupou/Hector’s dolphin and the kekeno/New Zealand fur seal. Endemic to New Zealand, Hector’s dolphin use the area in and around the harbour year round, although sightings in winter are less frequent. The fur seal pays occasional visits into the harbour when foraging. Other species visiting the harbour include right whales, humpback whales, dusky dolphins and killer whales.

Fish and Invertebrates

Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō is an important area for recreational and commercial fisheries and local people enjoy seafood gathering in the harbour. Many different species of marine organisms have been identified as locally-important kaimoana including  shellfish, octopus, seaweed, and finfish.

For environmental questions and enquiries, please contact the LPC Environmental Teamenvironment@lpc.co.nz or call 03 328 7828.

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