Diving Petrel lost (and found) in local re-cycle bin.

Okiwi schoolboy Tahi Ngawaka found this petite seabird in the plastics recycling bin at Okiwi. It is a diving petrel or kuaka (pelecadoides urinatrix) and how it got into recycling is a mystery. They breed in the winter on Little Barrier, the Mokohinaus and rat-free rock stacks around the Barrrier. Historically they would have been numbered in the millions here but the introduction of firstly the kiore and then the black rat means they no longer can breed on Great Barrier Is.

The diving petrel or kuaka before being released at dusk on the Port FitzRoy saddle.  Photo: Halema Jamieson

Rabbit Cull Exposes ‘Panthers’ in Okiwi

Pest Contractor Paul “Ditch” Keeling has been culling rabbits in the Okiwi (and elsewhere) for a few weeks now. Over the 20 night shoots he has removed 3528 rabbits and 15 cats. The male cats shown are among the largest seen in Okiwi in recent years.

“Night shooting as ongoing rabbit control will also facilitate eradicating these mature trap-shy animals. Evidence gathered NZ wide shows that the most successful and important breeding wildcats are the least likely to be removed by traditional trapping methodologies” he said.

Cat trapping by DoC in the Okiwi basin is limited to specific trap types because of the potential to harm brown teal ducks.

Ditch - a little bleary-eyed
after 20 nights on the job.
Photo: David Speir