Seabirds

Albatrosses

A true ‘hot spot’ for albatrosses, nearly half of the world’s 22 albatross species breed in New Zealand and many of those breed nowhere else.

But many albatross species are in trouble and need our help. Commercial fishing practices are considered the greatest threat to the survival of many albatross species. Keen predators, albatrosses mainly feed on squid, crustaceans and fish. Often they can be seen near fishing vessels looking for a deceptively easy meal. Unfortunately these meals can turn deadly. Sometimes albatrosses and other seabirds are caught on baited hooks of longlines, strike the large cables or get caught in nets on trawl vessels and are injured or killed.

WWF is working with government and the fishing industry, to reduce albatross deaths. In some fisheries there have been significant advances in reducing albatross and other seabird mortalities, but in other fisheries there are still major issues with non-compliance, lack of understanding about the issue, and ineffective or faulty equipment and techniques.

© Kath Walker/DOC

The Antipodean Albatross

The Antipodean albatross is New Zealand's most endangered albatross. In a little more than a decade, we have lost two-thirds of the population. 

There are mitigation measures that can significantly reduce seabird bycatch. That can stop Antipodean albatrosses from dying.

We are calling on the government to make all three best practice mitigation measures mandatory. 

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WWF-New Zealand helped establish, and continues to be an active member of Southern Seabird Solutions.

The charitable trust works with commercial and recreational fishers, associated agencies and industry to reduce harm to New Zealand seabirds from fishing.  They also deliver projects that contribute to reducing the effects of fishing on seabirds in fisheries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Penguins

Nine of the world’s 18 penguin species breed in New Zealand, including the hoiho (yellow eyed), tawaki (Fiordland crested) and kororā (little penguin) on the mainland. 

Around the world penguin populations are facing threats. Some, like the hoiho are already endangered. Other species that were once common, like the little penguin, are now declining.
 

Our work with Penguins

Kororā

In collaboration with the Waiheke Marine Project  we are conducting research on the abundance and distribution of kororā (little penguin) on the island and promoting education and local collaboration on their conservation. 

Also on Waiheke Island, we are supporting the Native Bird Rescue Charitable Trust in their work to protect, enhance and restore the island’s kororā populations. Particularly through rescue, rehabilitation, and release back to the wild. 
 

Hoiho

We support the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and their work protecting and restoring the habitat and monitoring the population of hoiho in Otago. 

The trust is working to restore critical habitats, including coastal native forest and scrub, dune systems, and wetland and coastal turf. Pest management (for mustelids, cats, possums, rats and hedgehogs) and monitoring the resident penguins. This also means providing treatment of injury and disease, supplementary feeding, and rehabilitation, throughout the breeding and moulting seasons, which improves the survival of adults and chicks.


WWF-New Zealand supports the Whakarauora Kororā Project and the Recovering Hoiho Project through our Conservation and Education Fund, providing financial support to community conservation and environmental education projects across New Zealand.

 

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Yellow-eyed penguin
© Bob Zuur/WWF