Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Petrel Discovery Boosts Bream Head’s Ongoing Success Story

September 12, 2015

The Bream Head success stories keep on coming with the Bream Head Conservation Trust this week announcing the exciting discovery of nesting grey-faced petrels on the rocky cliffs of Whangarei’s Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

This is the first time the large, grey sea birds, known to Maori as Oi, have established burrows naturally on the Northland mainland since predation by animal pests and humans wiped them out decades ago. Colonies still exist on pest-free offshore islands such as the Hen and Chickens, with a smaller translocated colony on nearby Matakohe Limestone Island.

“That the petrels feel safe to return to Bream Head to raise young is a victory for all those who have worked so hard to manage the Reserve’s comprehensive ecosystem and rid it of predators over the last 13 years,” says Bream Head Conservation Trust Chair, Greg Innes.

“It’s the latest in a number of significant achievements for the Trust in recent years which reinforce the importance of our intensive management programmes and the need to maintain them.”

In June 2013, a new species of skink was discovered at the Reserve which is now being studied and officially classified. The Trust also recently completed actioning its community-developed 5-Year Plan, thanks to support from the Ministry for the Environment, Ngatiwai and Northland Regional Council support, sponsors such as the ASB Community Trust and Refining NZ, and an ongoing partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC).

grey-faced-petrel

Grey faced petrel nesting at Bream Head

The Trust last year received more than $160,000 from DOC’s Community Conservation Partnerships Fund to help restore the Bream Head Scenic Reserve and reintroduce native wildlife to the peninsula.

DOC’s Director General Lou Sanson says the Trust’s successes show that by working with community groups in this way, outstanding benefits for conservation can be achieved.

“I congratulate the Bream Head Conservation Trust for their passion, commitment and willingness to be involved in a partnership that is transforming their local environment,” Mr Sanson says.

Trust Chairman, Greg Innes, believes there is exciting potential for ongoing transformation at Bream Head.

“The discovery of active grey-faced petrel burrows and the new skink species shows that the Trust is on the right track and motivates us to continue developing our partnerships and Reserve restoration programmes to even greater results,” Mr Innes says.

“With the help of our supporters, Bream Head is on the road to becoming one of the finest natural ecosystems in the country, providing a home for many species of native New Zealand wildlife not seen on the Northland mainland for many generations.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact Bream Head Conservation Trust Chairman, Greg Innes, on:
Phone: 0274953382
Or Project manager/ranger – Bream Head Conservation Trust, Adam Willets, on:
Phone: 021 155 7380
email: rangers@breamheadtrust.nz