Welcome to the home page for New Zealand's rarest and most critically threatened endemic bird, the New Zealand fairy tern. Known to Maori as Tara-iti, most New Zealanders will never get to see a New Zealand fairy tern, but those who do rapidly fall in love with these gutsy little birds who will swoop and poop on you if you get too close to their young or their nests.
Click to watch this clip from Greenstone's ' The Zoo' series.
Encouraged by the increase in birds from the low of about 10 in 1983 to about 40 in 2008, a group of individuals who are lucky enough to live near the remaining four breeding sites got together with concerned ornithologists and formed the New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust (NZFTCT).
Protection of NZFT began in 1984 after the Wildlife Service had accounted for about 10 individuals that included only three or four breeding pairs. Management has continued under the Department of Conservation (DOC) and intensified since 1991, lowering the birds' risk of extinction within 50 years, but not eliminating it. (Ferreira et al 2005)
These birds need your help! Please join us.
You can help save this bird by joining our trust, becoming an NZ fairy tern volunteer with DOC and letting others know you care about these birds.
Facts about the New Zealand fairy tern
Threats to NZFT survival
Photo/ Alison McDonald: The first chick for the 2011-2012 season. It hatched at the Waipu Wildlife Refuge on 2 Dec. 2011.
About the New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust (NZFTCT)
The possibility of this bird becoming extinct in the next 50 years is high without your help.
Become a member
and to join us:
Download our membership form (49kb PDF)
For further NZFT reading - NZFT (Sterna nereis davisae) Recovery Plan, 2005-15. Katrina Hansen - Threatened Species Recovery Plan 57.
Volunteers needed now!
Volunteers are urgently needed to help save our most threatened endemic bird, the New Zealand fairy tern (Tara-iti). Each summer dedicated volunteers help DoC by keeping an eye on these tiny, plucky birds. There are fewer than 40 left, but by watching out for them during the nesting season, the numbers could increase.
It is very rewarding to observe courtship, sitting on eggs and the hatching of the bumble bee sized chicks and eventually watching them learning to fly. Introductory workshops are held where you meet other volunteers. Please contact:
Pakiri David Wilson DOC Warkworth Ph 09-425-7195 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mangawhai Jane Vaughan Volunteer Coordinator Ph 09-431-5828 email@example.com
Waipu Lynnie Gibson DOC Northland 09-470-3300 firstname.lastname@example.org