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Hutton's shearwater (Puffinus huttoni)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12254297

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12254297) - Hutton's shearwater - Awarded $9,000 on November 10, 2012

The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust was formed on 16 October 2008 to: encourage and promote the preservation, conservation, research, public education and sustainable management of the endangered Hutton's shearwater. Hutton's shearwaters breed in 2 (down from 8 in 1964) natal colonies at altitudes between 1200 and 1800 m in the Seaward Kaikoura Range, Marlborough, New Zealand. In the non-breeding season they migrate to the ocean off West Australia. Between 2005 & 2008, a new "insurance" colony was established on the Kaikoura Peninsula (Te Rae o Atiu). The Trust raised funds to put a predator-proof fence around this site and returning birds are now protected. In 2010 the first egg was laid and in 2011 the first chick hatched and was released at sea in April 2012. Monitoring of this population and research at the natal colonies is being carried using equipment part-funded by the MBZ Fund. In order to enhance the population at the Kaikoura site, the Trust carried out a further translocation of 100 chicks in March-April 2012. We moved another 100 chicks in March 2013 with the assistance of funding from the MBZ Fund, the Encounter Foundation (Kaikoura) and the Greenwood Environmental Trust (Wellington).

As at January 2016 we are seeing that the later translocations have been very successful with 13 of the 2012 and 11 of the 2013 chicks having returned to Te Rae o Atiu; we expect to see upwards of 25 more birds returning in the next 3 to 4 years.  This years' returning bird have increased the Te Rae o Atiu population to 54 from 30 last year.  When the new birds start breeding in the next 2 to 3 years we will see a significant increase from the 7 or 8 fledglings we have at present to 15 or more. This will result in a small but steady increase in the population of Hutton's shearwater at Te Rae o Atiu which should be sustainable in the long term. Future updates will be available on the Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust website: www.huttonsshearwater.org.nz.   

Project documents