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Seven Juvenile Tara Iti Released

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

We are so happy to let you know that on the 22nd March at Manukapua, Tapora (Big Sand Island) seven juvenile tara iti were released by Department of Conservation staff and volunteers. The birds were in great condition and weighed between 57 and 61g, having all put on weight since they were last weighed.


Chicks being released with careful hands - Image: Nikki Hartley


All were released just after high tide and food trays were set-up around the tara iti boxes so they would see these when they exited. Following release the birds flew out, upwards and then out towards the east with the wind.


This year DOC and the Auckland Zoo embarked on a captive rearing programme for the tara iti in the hope that this will significantly increase tara iti populations into the future. This will become increasingly important as vulnerable populations of endangered species will face more and more extreme weather events.


Aviary fledgling shortly after release - Photo: Jeff Lewis


Following their release observations will continue to be carried out around Manukapua, Tapora, Waller Island, Papakānui and Bird Island. Thank you to everyone who has been involved with the tara iti project, from DOC staff and volunteers, to the Auckland Zoo and the NZ Fairy Tern Trust. We look forward to continuing to work alongside you to raising awareness of how people can engage to help protect our most endangered bird.




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