The Trust began Hutton’s shearwater chick translocations from the Kowhai River colony (one of only two remaining wild colonies) in the Seaward Kaikoura Range to the artificial Kaikoura Peninsula/Te Rae O Atiu colony in 2005.
Translocations followed in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Chicks adapted well to their artificial burrows within the predator-proof colony on the Kaikoura Peninsula. They were fed sardine smoothies, regularly weighed and fitted with metal bands and microchips – before fledging and migrating to feed in the warm coastal waters off western Australia. Immature birds remain there until 3-4 years of age, and then return for their first breeding attempt at the Kaikoura Peninsula colony. Translocated birds have already begun returning to their artificial colony and made first breeding attempts – great news!
The next translocation will likely take place in 2018.
The Trust is grateful to the many sponsors and volunteers who made translocations possible. Each of you has directly helped make a difference for this endangered species.