Following a three-year trial period of translocating Hutton’s Shearwater chicks from the mountains to the man-made colony (Te Rae o Atiu) on the Kaikoura Peninsula, monitoring of bird numbers began by the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust.
A predator-proof fence around the colony was completed in 2010.
After fledging from Te Rae o Atiu, the chicks fly to the coast of Australia and return around three years later to this new colony to breed. Within 10-15 years there should be enough birds returning to make this a sustainable colony.
It is thought that this is the largest transfer of seabird chicks from the wild to create a new colony anywhere in the world.
All photos supplied by Nicky McArthur.
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For more information visit www.huttonsshearwater.org.nz/