Media Release – March 2013

The sound of beating wings returns to Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay residents can now look forward to the return of a once common sight; that of the Cook’s petrel flying overhead. Many years ago these sea birds flourished, nesting high in the mountain ranges surrounding the coast. Each day millions of these birds would fly to the coast to feed, returning on mass each night.

“Cooks petrel have been reduced to only a few locations nation-wide” said Ken Hunt, Project Manager for Poutiri Ao ō Tāne, “due to predators and habitat destruction. Their demise has had flow on effects that most people forget about. On their travels to and from the coast these birds add valuable marine nutrients to our native bush, enriching the forest floor with guano”.

On Monday, 11th March 2013, Department of Conservation staff will transfer 50 Cooks petrel from Little Barrier Island to a specially built predator proof enclosure high on theMaungaharuruRange, 60 kms north of Napier.CapeSanctuary will be undertaking a similar transfer on the same day.

The relocation of the Cook’s petrel builds on the innovative work already undertaken byCapeSanctuaryover the last four years and more recently bird relocations for the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project. To date, the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project has successfully transferred 29 Yellow-crowned Kakariki birds fromManaIslandand 6 Kaka (bush parrot) from Mount Bruce Reserve and Wellington Zoo.

One aim of the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project is to boost native flora and fauna not only in protected habitats and native bush, but also within the agricultural, forestry and urban landscape. Ultimately the goal is to see these rare native species thriving in local backyards.

To catch a glimpse of these birds first hand, follow the project on Facebook.

To find out about the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project or if interested in volunteering, visit the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne website or call the Department of Conservation office on (06) 834 3111.


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