Breeding results summary for 2012-13 season:
Waipu: Eggs laid: 4 Eggs hatched: 1 Chicks fledged: 0
Number of breeding pairs: 2
(Two of these eggs were transferred to Pakiri)
(The egg that hatched at Waipu was one of two transferred from Mangawhai via artificial incubation at Auckland Zoo.)
Mangawhai: Eggs laid: 5 Eggs hatched: 3 Chicks fledged: 3
Number of breeding pairs: 3
(Two of these eggs were transferred to Waipu via Auckland Zoo. Two eggs came from Pakiri, one hatched and the chick fledged.)
Te Arai: Eggs laid: 2 Eggs hatched:0 Chicks fledged: 0
Number of breeding pairs: 1
Pakiri: Eggs laid: 2 Eggs hatched: 2 Chicks fledged: 2
Number of breeding pairs: 1
(The two eggs laid at Pakiri went to Mangawhai. The two eggs that hatched here came from Waipu.)
Papakanui: Eggs laid: 2 (known) Eggs hatched: 0 Chicks fledged: 0
Number of breeding pairs: 1
Five sites combined: Total eggs laid: 15 (known)
Eggs hatched: 6 Chicks fledged: 5
Number of breeding pairs: 8
Can you find all 13 NZ Fairy Terns in this photo taken by Gordon Gorbey at Te Arai on February 25, 2004?"
According to the NZFT Charitable Trust's fairy tern expert, Gwenda Pulham, there have been 14 NZFT seen on one occasion at Te Arai, so 13 is not the record.
07 January 2013
New Zealand Fairy terns are expanding their breeding grounds – an exciting development at Te Arai
The story from Lyn Whale, Secretary of the Te Arai Dotterel Care Group:
TE ARAI BEACH COMMUNITY WELCOMES NEW RESIDENTS
No corporate castle needed for this endearing little pair that arrived at Te Arai beach to prepare for and raise their chicks. Home is a simple scrape in the sand. Two eggs later and the community of Te Arai were very excited about the prospect of New Zealand’s rarest endemic breeding bird, the New Zealand Fairy Tern, once again breeding on Te Arai beach after an absence of approximately 20 years.
The community, supported by the Department of Conservation, began a timetable of nest minding while the department arranged for and made an appointment of a full time warden for the beach for the breeding season. Sadly this is one love story that did not have a happy ending. Late one evening the eggs, which were well on the way to hatching, mysteriously disappeared. No tracks or prints were found, but the on-site camera had been tampered with, suggesting human intervention.
A successful concerted effort of trapping predators has been in place at Te Arai over the last six years, with volunteers also putting up fencing to protect nesting shore birds and talking to beach users about the needs of our endangered species. Te Arai enjoys the protection of the Wild Life Act and so is therefore a no dog beach all year around and under Auckland Council by laws is a no vehicle beach.
Te Arai Dotterel care group would like to thank members of the public who stay out of the fenced off areas and remind dog lovers that there is a designated dog exercise area at Te Arai Point car park.
A spokesperson for the New Zealand Fairy Tern Trust said that it was inevitable that fairy terns would return to breeding again at Te Arai. As populations re-build they will seek out more sites and Te Arai is an obvious choice. More sites also provides greater security against extinction as it spreads the risk of predator invasions and storm effects on nesting birds.
Footnote: Shortly after the Te Arai NZ fairy tern eggs disappeared, dotterel eggs also vanished from a site nearby and this time footprints were seen leading to the nest!
NZ Post Issue Fairy Tern Coin
Each year New Zealand Post issues an endangered species coin and last year’s coin. launched February 23, 2012 featured the New Zealand fairy tern! The coin may be purchased from Post Shops or on line. To purchase coins, read more here
All proceeds from a Trade Me charity auction for the No. 43 Proof currency set were donated to our trust.
Thank you, New Zealand Post!
Protection of the birds began in 1984
after the then Wildlife Service could account for only three or four breeding pairs. Management has continued under Department of Conservation (DOC) and intensified since 1991 lowering their risk of extinction within 50 years, but not eliminating it. (Ferreira et al 2005)
Breeding ground reports for 2011-2012
As of 20 Jan 2012
Photo/ Ali McDonald
The trapping group have been doing well with trapping records showing mid to high number of rats and 2 cats have been caught on the refuge so far with no cat prints being seen by the wardens. A lot of people are ringing in advising the presence of stoats and ferrets. The trap boxes have been loaned out to people in Waipu for trapping purposes. During this period it is not uncommon to see these pests hunting during the day.
As of 20 Jan 2012: There are two fully fledged chicks at Waipu.
At Pakiri, two eggs hatched on consecutive days, December 3 and 4.
As of 20 Jan 2012: There are two fully fledged chicks at Pakiri.
We have two chicks at Papakanui which hatched perhaps Sunday, December 4 – bad weather made it hard to tell.
As of 20 Jan 2012: Unfortunately both chicks were lost in adverse weather and there has been no re-nesting.
As of 20 Jan 2012: Re-nesting has produced two chicks. Harriers are causing a few problems so DOC staff and volunteers are undertaking a harrier watch from dawn to dusk.
First egg for the season was laid byWilma ( in her 19th year of life) on Saturday October 29, 2011 and is the earliest recorded laying at the Papakanui site. The previous earliest date for a full clutch at Papakanui is November 2.
Our NZFT specialist and other observers note:
Fifty per cent of all first clutches recorded by wardens this season contained only one egg even though half the male birds involved in these clutches are experienced, capable foragers. Perhaps there was a paucity of NZFT prey items early in the season?