Monday, August 30, 2010

Hutton's Shearwater Get Predator-Free Home

The Minister, visitors, supporters and Trust members are welcomed to the Hutton's shearwater colony on the Kaikoura Peninsula

The Hon Kate Wilkinson cutting the ribbon to officially open the newly established predator proof fence with some of the Trust members, Nicky McArthur, Teri Sonal and Dennis Buurman

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson and Trust Chairman Paul McGahan planting a tree within the new Hutton's shearwater colony on opening day

Great news for the Kaikoura Hutton's Shearwaters.

Wellington, Aug 28 NZPA- Kaikoura has celebrated the building of predator-proof fencing for a new colony of Hutton's shearwater -- a seabird species unique to Kaikoura.

Hutton's shearwater are one of the few seabird species that have survived on the mainland of New Zealand. Today only two colonies are left.

Minister Kate Wilkinson attended the celebration at Takahanga Marae and thanked the community for their help.

With only two remaining breeding sites on the Kaikoura Ranges' mountain slopes, Hutton's shearwater faced a precarious future, Ms Wilkinson said.

The Department of Conservation has been working towards building a third colony and the Hutton's shearwater charitable trust raised $220,000 to build a 563m predator-proof fence around it on the Kaikoura Peninsula.

Between 2005 and 2008 about 270 chicks were moved to the 2ha site.

They were fed and cared for there until they fledged, with the intention they would recognise it as their home and would return there to breed.

A number of chicks were killed by cats which made the fence essential, Ms Wilkinson said.

"It's great to see the Kaikoura community working together to achieve conservation goals."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

All day Pelagic Report

Hi All

Here is Gary's report from the all-day pelagic tour that took place on the 31st of July. It looks like it was a great success and we will look at puttin gon a spring all-day tour around the spring equinox.

Heading out at 0630 into the dark and headed 120 on the compass. The forecast was not good but that didn't deter the the regular deep sea commandos that have come on every deep sea pelagic that we have done so far. As we got out the North swell started to build but no wind and as it got lighter we witnessed a spectacular red sky which is usual with a nor west forecast. We arrived at 0745hrs at the 18 N.Miles mark off shore that we visited in March that went so well, put the bait in the water and waited with coffee and hot chocolate,chatting while the hard core keept a sharp look out.

We stayed for 3hours at the out side range and had Royals, Black-brows, Shy's, Bullers, but no Wandering and very few Cape petrel which seemed a bit strange. Some great views of Grey faced and westland petrels.

Wind still holding off so we worked our way inshore with a few more stops on the way.
Found a fishing boat off the Conway river and spent some time with them and had the big numbers but still very few Wanderings (2).

One more stop on the inside bank off the Conway and last chance to get a Grey petrel or
Antarctic Fulmar and just as we stopped the cry when up “Fulmar” but it was the only one. The reason that we didn't get many of the other birds was probably the off shore breeze but it was an enjoyable trip and the wind held off and no one was sea sick.