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Latest post-earthquake news for New Zealand’s Endangered Hutton’s Shearwaters is mixed

New Zealand’s Endangered and endemic Hutton’s Shearwater Puffinus huttoni, which breeds only in the vicinity of Kaikoura on South Island, took quite a blow after the earthquake last November (click here).

Hutton's Shearwater fledgling, courtesy of the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust

Latest news is that aerial photography suggests that more than 20% of the Kowhai colony and 30% of the Shearwater Stream colony in the Seaward Kaikoura Range (the only two known) were swept away by landslips caused by the earthquake.

Supporting evidence, now the remaining chicks have been fledging, is that only a few birds have been handed in after been downed by street lights during Kaikoura’s “March's Fly Safe” month, leading the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust to estimate that up to 10% of the 2016/17 cohort of chicks has been lost (click here).

Better news is that according to the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust 12 ”healthy” Hutton’s Shearwaters fledged from Te Rae O Atiu, the fenced coastal translocation site that was not harmed by last year’s earthquake.

Follow the fortunes of the birds at the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust’s Facebook page.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 06 April 2017