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Are There Snakes in New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island nation with a unique collection of flora and fauna that developed in isolation from the rest of the world. As a result, New Zealand is one of the few places on Earth where there are no native terrestrial snakes. There have, however, been occasional sightings of yellow-bellied sea-snakes in the oceans surrounding the North Island of New Zealand. New Zealand also has several species of native lizards, including geckos and skinks.

As the introduction of snakes could upset an already fragile ecosystem, importing the reptiles into New Zealand is illegal and punishable with fines and jail time.

Snakes are found on every major continent except Antarctica.

More about New Zealand fauna:

  • New Zealand has very few native land mammals, including only three small types of bat. Human settlers have, however, introduced numerous invasive mammal species.

  • New Zealand was once home to the now extinct moa, a massive flightless bird that could reach twelve feet in height.

  • The tuatara, a lizard-like reptile found only in New Zealand, is the sole remaining member of the Rhynchocephalia order. The tuatara is one of the oldest animal species alive today.

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