ENIGMA

Chris Gaskin (NNZST)

Dr. Matt Rayner (Auckland Museum)

Graeme Taylor (DOC)

The NZ storm petrel is a small seabird with a big story – flying in from extinction in 2003. In 2013 we it found breeding on Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, within sight of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest city. With each season we discover something new about this very enigmatic bird. There remains a lot to learn to better understand their life histories, distribution, breeding biology and foraging.  Without this knowledge, we will struggle to improve conservation outcomes for the species.

 

In 2013 and 2014 five natural burrows were found in one of the island’s deep cut valleys. To enable easy study of the species’ biology the NZSP project team have established a trial ‘colony’ using artificial and a solar-powered playback (acoustic) attraction system similar to those installed successfully elsewhere in New Zealand. The acoustic system plays calls to attract new birds to the site. Our research continues to inform on the conservation status of this highly threatened species, and importantly on future measures required to ensure its full protection.

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