Articles tagged 'shorebirds'

Where does the pacific golden plover – the kuriri – come from?

The shores of Miranda, in the Firth of Thames, are the part-time home to the kuriri. The fourth most common of the Arctic migrants that visit each summer, the kuriri used to arrive in their thousands each year to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. Now, fewer than 200 visit. Why the numbers coming to New Zealand have declined is a mystery, as is much about the birds’ life.

Each year the small birds migrate to somewhere near the Arctic Ocean to nest. It’s not known whether this is Siberia or Alaska, what route the birds take to get there or if and where they might stop on the way. There’s speculation a habitat they might use as a stop-off point might be degraded.

This summer the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre is going to try to find answers to fit 10 of the birds with tiny GPS trackers to see where they go. $20,000 was raised for ten lightweight GPS trackers. With permission from the Department of Conservation and Massey University Animal Ethics Committee, the notoriously flighty birds have been successfully tagged.

You can follow the progress of the campaign on the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre website.

Newsroom reporter Farah Hancock reported on this recently here.

Growing the rare shore plover / tūturuatu population

In December the Department of Conservation announced that seven critically endangered shore plover chicks have hatched on pest-free Motutapu Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and in early February, the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre released four juvenile shore plover on Motutapu Island.

Endemic to New Zealand, the shore plover / tūturuatu were once widespread around the coast of the North and South Islands but were driven to the brink of extinction by rats and other introduced predators.

In 1990 there were only 130 shore plover / tūturuatu All these birds were on one island, predator free Rangatira Island in the Chatham Islands.

Today the total population of shore plover / tūturuatu in New Zealand is around 245. Shore plover were first released on pest-free Motutapu in 2012 – a year after Motutapu and neighbouring Rangitoto were declared pest-free.

Read more from DOC and also from the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre.

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Hauraki Gulf Forum