On Friday 16th September 2011 the Great Barrier Island Trust helped to set up a meeting in Auckland, the attendees at which have now formed the Black Petrel Action Group. This was the result of the high level of concern raised by the publication of the Ministry of Fisheries Seabird Risk Assessment which identifies the Black Petrel as the most at risk species from commercial fishing in New Zealand. A letter was sent to the Ministers of Fisheries and Conservation on 28 October outlining 6 areas on which we seek a response. A number of other activities are planned to raise the profile of black petrel, which without intervention are in serious danger of becoming extinct in our lifetime.
Black petrels nest mainly on Great Barrier on the high ridges around Mt Hobson/Hirakimata. They spend the winter in the Pacific, their incredible range extending from the east coast of Australia as far as waters off Peru. In October they return to breed, with eggs laid from December and chick appearing from February. Petrels are often seen in the Hauraki Gulf in summer and if an adult bird is killed by longlines or recreational fishers, chances are two birds will die as the chick on the nest will not survive with just one parent. Only about 1300 pairs and 1000 prebreeders are thought to be on Mt Hobson each summer, which apart from a small colony on Little Barrer, is the only place in the world this bird breeds.
For background information on this fascinating bird please read Black Petrel Essentials.
A full list of research sources is appended to this document.
Black Petrel Action Group Members
Birdlife International and Forest & Bird
Karen Baird Birdlife International Global Seabird Programme Pacific Coordinator
Ngati Rehua Trust Board
Chairperson: Hilary McGregor
Great Barrier Island Charitable Trust
Kate Waterhouse, Chair
Victoria Travers, Programme Leader Auckland Marine Matters
Little Barrier Island (Hauturu) Supporters Trust
Dr Matt Rayner, Trustee
Wildlife Management International