Many native bird species have been recorded in Kahurangi. Among them are several threatened species such as the blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos), the falcon (falco novaeseelandiae), rock wren (Xenicus gilviventris) and great spotted kiwi (Apteryx haastii).
Others are the New Zealand dabchick (Poliocephalus rufopectus), pied shag (Phalacrocorax varius varius), reef heron (Egretta sacra sacra), several tern species, kaka (Nestor meridionalis), kea (Nestor notabilis), fern birds such as Bowdleria punctata, the pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) and rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris).
The basin and its caves offer home to the endangered giant carnivorous snails, the Powelliphanta species, several local spider species such as the Oparara karamea, Oparara vallus and the largest cave spider of them all: the Spelunga cavernicola which measures a leg span of 13 to 15 centimeters. Weta are also found on trees or in caves.
The only mammal species, such as the rare lesser short-tailed bats (Mystacina tuberculata tuberculata) may be observed in deep forests. Seals may be found on Kahurangi's coastline.
Especially on Farewell Spit, Kahurangi is home to great populations of migrating bird species.
Common hexapods include the sandfly (Austrosimulium unulatum), alpine cicadas (Maoricicada cicada), tussock butterflies (Lycaena salustius), weevils, winter mosquitoes and many more.
Introduced animals are rats, mice, stoats, hares, deer and possums.