Bream Head Reserve from Manaia

Rangers Report November 2016

December 15, 2016

Out on the hill it is getting drier and hotter, and this month we have sad news about our grey faced petrels.

rope safety check

Checking rope safety in the Reserve’s Eastern area.

Tena Koutou katoa, I hope this report finds you all well and you are enjoying the improvement in the weather recently! We have had yet another busy month in November with full reserve toxin and trapping, North Island Robin breeding monitoring, school visits, Grey Faced Petrel monitoring, rope safety inspections, funding/strategy meetings and applications, a very productive day hosting the Northland Conservation Board and some really awesome progress made by the communications team on fund raising incentives for sustainable funding of the Trust’s future.

Grey Faced Petrels Highs and Lows

The self-repatriating population of Grey Faced Petrels at the Eastern tip of Bream Head have had a roller coaster past few months and it really saddens me to report that none of the original 10 young chicks initially discovered have survived. On the 12th of November BHCT volunteer Cathy Mitchell and I went back to the burrow sites to attempt banding any surviving chicks only to discover three had made it through and we were only able to band one bird. I returned to the sites very recently to check on the remaining chicks only to discover that they too were dead and their carcasses were left in the burrows. I have brought the bodies back for further analysis to try and determine what caused these birds to die. What we do know is that in 2015 three GFP eggs were predated prior to hatching, this year we had discovered 10 healthy looking young GFP chicks in burrows, seeming to suggest that survival chances were on the improve. Before we can work out what we might be able to do to help the birds we must firstly determine what caused their ill fate based on the evidence we have.

Read the November 2016 Rangers Report (1.8MB pdf)  for more details on this and other stories.