New Zealand Bird of the Year competition, 2015


This video from New Zealand says about itself:

Sharing the Hauraki Gulf – Fishers and black petrel in the Hauraki Gulf

8 December 2013

The Hauraki Gulf is a hotspot for seabirds with over 80 species using the region. In this DVD, wildlife biologist Cam Speedy takes you to his favourite deer hunting grounds to explore ancient seabird territory, and Whitianga fishermen Adam Clow and Wayne Dreadon head to Aotea/Great Barrier Island to band rare black petrel chicks before their maiden voyage to Ecuador and Peru. Adam and Wayne also talk through what seabird mitigation really means on-board their vessels.

From BirdLife:

Who will win Forest & Bird‘s Bird of the Year 2015?

By Mike Britton, Tue, 06/10/2015 – 23:02

The annual New Zealand Bird of the Year competition has kicked off again by the BirdLife New Zealand partner, Forest & Bird.  This year 50 bird species are all vying for the `top bird’ Crown. Started by the late Helen Bain, Forest & Bird’s former Communications manager as a bit of fun, the competition has rapidly become an important way to promote New Zealand’s unique and often very threatened bird species.  As with most bird species in the whole Pacific the biggest threat to New Zealand’s birds are invasive predators and building the communities’ appreciation of the taonga (treasure) that these birds represent is important in getting the support and resources to protect them and control the predators.

Last year the competition was a special one focusing on sea birds in recognition of the recently completed New Zealand Marine IBA Report.  The enigmatic and criticaly endangered Fiji Petrel snuck in to the competition and alsmost won, in the lead for most of the time but just pipped at the post after a big local push (by Forest & Bird) for the New Zealand Fairy Tern, also a critically endangered special bird.

This year there are no obvious favourites but it may swing back to one of the old favourites, Kiwi, kea, kokako or keru (New Zealand wood pigeon).  But our favorite is the New Zealand Black Petrel rocellaria parkinsoni, the special sea bird that is familiar to users of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.  Its nesting sites on mainland New Zealand have gone due mainly to invasive predators like feral cats and pigs, mustelids and rats.  But they are also the most at risk sea bird from both commercial and recreational fishers. Forest & Bird, with help from BirdLife and the RSPB is working on to reduce the by-catch of these special birds.  Their sponsor in the completion is BirdLife’s Pacific seabird coordinator. Karen Baird, and if you want to do your bit to support New Zealand birds, and we hope the Black Petrel please go on to Forest & Bird’s website and vote.

Half of New Zealand’s birds have gone extinct since humans arrived on the islands. Many more are threatened. Now, researchers estimate that it would take approximately 50 million years to recover the number of bird species lost since humans first colonized New Zealand: here.

2 thoughts on “New Zealand Bird of the Year competition, 2015

  1. Pingback: Bar-tailed godwit, New Zealand’s Bird of the Year | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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