Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

New Zealand’s endemic Hutton’s Shearwaters fledge with a farewell ceremony in the face of continued light pollution

Sunrise farewell to the 2018 fledglings

The annual farewell celebration for globally Endangered Hutton’s Shearwaters Puffinus huttoni was held earlier this month in Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island with a sunrise Hikoi (parade) at the Te Rae O Atiu translocation colony, from which 17 chicks successfully fledged from translocated parents. The ceremony was followed by talks on the impact of the 7.8 earthquake last year and a summary of the current breeding season (click here).  As in previous years the street lights of Kaikoura caused a number of downings of fledging shearwaters flying from their inland mountain colonies.


Kaikoura is well lit at night

This image quite clearly highlights why Kaikoura's endangered Hutton's Shearwaters crash land at night during their flights from the mountains to the sea throughout the breeding season (September to early April). The township is lit up like an airfield landing strip, and lies directly in the flight path to/from the only two remaining wild breeding colonies.” (click here).

However, efforts earlier this and last month by Kaikoura Wildlife Rescue and the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust have led to a number of birds being collected off the streets at night and later released from the shoreline, despite some fatalities from collisions with vehicles (click here).

Hutton's Shearwaters killed by vehicles on a Kaikoura Road

Photographs courtesy of the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust

Read more on threats facing and conservation activities for New Zealand’s endemic Hutton’s Shearwater in ACAP Latest News here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 27 April 2018