New Zealand native animals are heading towards extinction with advocates begging for help

New Zealand is known for its bird life, plants and reptiles but while these species are often recognised for their beauty, the outlook for their future survival is far from pretty. 

Stats New Zealand has found that a high proportion of New Zealand's indigenous species are under threat of extinction.

It found 75 percent of reptiles, birds, bats and freshwater fish species are in that category.

Reptiles are in the worst shape of all with 94 percent at risk, followed closely by indigenous birds with 82 percent of more than 200 species in the extinction threat category.

Not far behind are bats and freshwater fish, both sitting around the 75 percent threat mark. 

Forest and Bird chief executive Nicola Toki said the results are hugely concerning. 

"This data makes for some pretty grim reading, especially for a nation of people who consider ourselves to have an identity with these native species, that define us you know, that's why we're called Kiwis," Toki said.

Stats NZ has collated information about seven different groups of New Zealand indigenous species including bats frogs and marine life. 

The data has provided a worryingly almost one-coloured result - with the majority surpassing the red line which indicates species are threatened or at risk of becoming threatened.

Stats NZ environmental and agricultural manager Michele Lloyd said the group that fared the worst was reptiles. 

"The tuatara, the skink, the gecko, out of those 124 species, 116 are threatened with extinction, or at risk of being threatened with extinction," Lloyd said.

That's followed by birds with the threatened list including the Bird of the Year winner the rock wren, as well as several types of Kiwi and the kōkako. 

Forest and Bird said while the overall picture is disheartening it's not a new pattern and any real change has to come from decision-makers. 

"We have a new New Zealand biodiversity strategy that is as far as we can see, sitting on a shelf right now, instead of driving all policy tools from this point," Tok said.

Sharing that we only get one chance with our indigenous species and no one else can fix the problem, but Kiwis.