12:26 November 17, 2014 0 comments
Press Release – Forest and Bird
The Fiji petrel and the New Zealand fairy tern are continuing to jostle for the lead in the poll to find New Zealands most popular seabird, as the competition enters its final week.Could Fijian seabird upset NZ Seabird of the Year poll?
Wellington, 17 November 2014 – The Fiji petrel and the New Zealand fairy tern are continuing to jostle for the lead in the poll to find New Zealand’s most popular seabird, as the competition enters its final week.
The lead in the poll has swung dramatically between the two species over the last two weeks. As of 11:24 a.m. Monday, the fairy tern led the Fiji petrel by just 124 votes.
The poll – www.seabirdoftheyear.org.nz – is run by the independent conservation charity Forest & Bird.
The Fiji petrel was included in the poll because Fiji is one of New Zealand’s closest Pacific neighbours, and because only 50 Fiji petrels are thought to remain. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, which is working to protect the Fiji petrel, is a member of the global conservation organisation BirdLife International, as is Forest & Bird.
The Fiji petrel is considered a tabu (taonga) in Fijian custom.
The fairy tern only breeds at four sites in Northland, and only 8 – 10 breeding pairs are thought to remain. Fairy terns are vulnerable to being run over by four-wheel-drive vehicles, as they nest in small depressions in the sand.