New Zealand’s endangered shore plovers

From BirdLife:

BirdLife grant helps Endangered shorebird


A grant from the BirdLife International Community Conservation Fund is helping establish a new population of Endangered Shore Plover Thinornis novaeseelandiae on Mana Island, off the west coast of Wellington, New Zealand.

The project is showing early signs of success. A pair from among 41 juveniles introduced to the island in 2007 hatched and fledged a chick during 2008, and five more young Shore Plovers have fledged in 2009.

The first chick was born to one-year-old parents. Shore Plovers normally breed from two years.

The sole natural breeding population of Shore Plover is on Rangatira (South East) Island in the Chatham Islands. The species was once widespread around the coast of New Zealand’s South Island, but had been extirpated by the 1870s. Their global population is estimated to be less than 250 birds, with a total range of just 4 km2. …

The [Mana] island is a scientific reserve, and Shore Plover joins other successful introductions of New Zealand’s endemic bird species that are rare on the mainland, including two more Endangered species – Takahe Porphyrio hochstetteri and Brown Teal Anas chlorotis.

Battle to protect New Zealand’s native birds continues: here.

Stowaway threat to New Zealand’s island sanctuaries: here.

Critically endangered Takahe numbers crash – But some good news: here.

2 thoughts on “New Zealand’s endangered shore plovers

  1. Rare birds released on pest-free island


    09:05 20/02/2012

    One of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered birds has been released on Motutapu Island.

    There are only around 200 New Zealand shore plovers, or tuturuatu, left in the wild and the Department of Conservation said the release of 17 of them onto the pest-free island yesterday aimed to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

    Shore plover were once widespread around the coast of the North and South Islands but their population was decimated by rats and cats.

    Breeding programmes have helped bring the numbers up since a low of around 130 in the early 1990s but DOC ranger Hazel Speed said they remained critically endangered.

    “We need to establish more new homes for them on pest-free islands like Motutapu where they’re safe from rats, feral cats and other animal predators and their numbers can grow.”

    Motutapu and neighbouring Rangitoto Island were declared pest-free sanctuaries for threatened native wildlife and plants six months ago, marked by the removal of nine pests including rats, possums and stoats.

    Other native birds including the saddleback or tïeke and takahe have also been released onto the islands, along with freshwater crayfish and redfin bully fish.

    “It’s wonderful to be see shore plover joining the other threatened species we’ve released on Motutapu and Rangitoto since we rid the islands of animal pests,” Speed said.

    Members of the public are asked to keep an eye out for the birds which may fly to Auckland’s mainland.

    Anyone who sees them should contact DOC.


  2. Pingback: New Zealand shore plovers in trouble | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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