The dense podocarp rainforest in western parts of Arthur's Pass offers a perfect habitat for many different and endemic bird species. Some birds prefer higher altitudes such as the kea (Nestor notabilis), and others may prefer riverbeds such as the banded dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus).

Common, endemic bird species include:
(Rhipidura fuliginosa), tomtit (Petroica macrocephala), rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris), silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), brown creeper (Mohoua novaeseelandiae), fernbird (Bowdleria punctata), bellbird (Anthornis melanura), grey warbler (Gerygone igata), morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae), western weka (Gallirallus australis), rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris), tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), swamp harrier (Circus approximans), New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae), South Island robin (Petroica australis), pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus), black-fronted tern (Childonias albostriatus), paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata), pied oystercatcher (Haematopus finschi), as well as the white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).

Endangered, native bird species are:
Orange-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus malherbi), yellowhead (Mohua ochrocephala), blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii), South Island kaka (Nestor meridionalis), and the wrybill (Anarhynchus frontalis).

Notable insects are:
(Austrosimulium ungulatum), glowworm (Arachnocampa luminosa), water spider (Dolomedes aquaticus), astelia zig-zag moth (Charixena iridoxa), and the New Zealand giant dragonfly (Uropetala chiltoni).

These introduced bird species are common:
Blackbird, chaffinch, song thrush, yellowhammer, Canada goose, and spur-winged plover.

Several introduced mammals are present in the park as well:
Brown hare, possum, stoats and the northern chamois.
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