Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Threats to seabirds of northern New Zealand get comprehensively reviewed

Edin Whitehead (School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand) and colleagues have published a report that comprehensively reviews and summarizes threats facing seabirds of northern New Zealand, including the Hauraki Gulf region and its many islands.  Among the 15 procellariform species included in the report are the ACAP-listed Near Threatened Buller’s Albatross Thalassarche bulleri (of the northern subspecies platei) and globally Vulnerable Black Petrel Pterodroma parkinsoni.  The Near Threatened Flesh-footed Shearwater Ardenna carneipes, identified as a candidate species for listing within the Agreement (click here), is also considered.  The authors write:

“This report aims to assess current and emerging threats to seabirds in Northern New Zealand, particularly the wider Hauraki Gulf region, and to identify knowledge gaps. In doing so, both research and conservation action can be prioritized to best mitigate threats to seabirds in the region. Consequently, the report aims to answer three basic questions:

What are current threats to seabirds in Northern New Zealand?

What are the knowledge gaps regarding seabird species in Northern New Zealand?

What are the knowledge gaps regarding threats to seabirds in Northern New Zealand?”

Both land-based and at-sea threats are covered, importantly including fishery interactions and introduced terrestrial predators, as well as pollution, disease, human disturbance and climate change.  Knowledge gaps in species’ biology and in the threats they face are also treated in the 76-page, illustrated report.


The illustration on the report's front cover shows a Black Petrel caught on a hookless line during experiments on petrel and shearwater behaviour around fishing vessels

Photograph by Richard Robinson


Whitehead, E.A., Adams, N.[J.], Baird, K.A., Bell, E.A., Borrelle, S.B., Dunphy, B.J., Gaskin, C.P., Landers, T.J., Rayner, M.J. & Russell, J.C. 2019.  Threats to Seabirds of Northern Aotearoa New Zealand.  Auckland: Northern New Zealand Seabird Charitable Trust.  76 pp.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 June 2019