22 Jun 2022

Our Changing World - Karioi and the grey-faced petrel

From Afternoons, 3:35 pm on 22 June 2022

In the great cycle of nutrients between the ocean and the land, seabirds are an important link. Burrowing seabirds transport nutrients from the sea into the costal bush where they nest. But many are having a hard time on the mainland coast due to predators.

Kristel is wearing a grey Karioi project t-shirt and sits to the right of the burrow into the edge of a cliff. Some small sticks are upright in the burrow entrance, there is a pink marker flag with a number on it, and a plastic box that houses a camera.

Project manager Kristel van Houte sits by an ōi burrow Photo: RNZ

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This is the challenge that the ōi or grey-faced petrel in Whāingaroa Raglan is facing.

The bush-clad Karioi maunga, eight kilometers south-west of Raglan, is the most northerly forest that connects all the way from mountain top to sea. In recent years the grey -aced petrel has been spotted digging burrows to nest along the coastline at the base of Karioi, but predators such as ferrets and stoats are taking a massive toll on both the chicks and adult birds. 

This is what the Karioi Project team are taking action on. With an extensive education programme and backyard trapping hub, the team are working with the community to help restore this vital connection between the ocean and the land.

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