Plan to reverse precarious position of hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin

Government, Iwi and a community organisation have banded together to turn around the fortunes of the nationally endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin, which recently suffered a series of poor breeding seasons.

At the annual hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin symposium in Dunedin today, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced Te Kaweka Takohaka mō te Hoiho/Yellow-eyed Penguin Recovery Strategy. It is a draft strategy to restore hoiho populations in the face of pressures from human activities, climate change, and predators alongside a supporting action plan.

“Hoiho are species unique to New Zealand that grace our $5 notes. Because hoiho occupy both land and sea, they’re exposed to an extensive range of threats, resulting in poor breeding and survival rates. They need all the support they can get to boost their numbers,” Eugenie Sage says.

The Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Fisheries New Zealand have worked together over the past year to develop the Strategy and associated Action Plan.

“Hoiho are a taonga species for Ngāi Tahu. The 2018/19 breeding season saw the number of breeding pairs in the ‘northern’ hoiho populations of mainland New Zealand, Rakiura/Stewart Island and Whenua Hou/Codfish Island at their lowest since 1990 with only an estimated 227 nests present at the beginning of the season.

Around 400 birds needed specialist treatment or rehabilitation. Starvation and avian malaria were strong factors as well as unexplained deaths.

“The strategy highlights that the immediate focus must be on the survival of individual hoiho to ensure we have a future population. This means continuing with management interventions such as caring for sick, injured and underweight birds.”

“Longer term the focus will shift to addressing marine impacts on hoiho. Right now, we don’t know as much as we’d like to about these impacts. The strategy also proposes to continue to improve the effectiveness of land-based management.”

“Everyone involved in hoiho conservation and users of the coast near hoiho breeding sites can help protect and support hoiho.”

Eugenie Sage also announced Te Mahere Rima Tau – a five-year hoiho action plan, at the symposium to support the strategy. Te Mahere Rima Tau will be assessed and updated annually and is likely to promote future investment in research and the rehabilitation of sick or injured hoiho. It will also involve working with fishers on bycatch mitigation.

An additional investment of $220,000 over three years from Budget 2018 will also go towards the conservation management of hoiho.

“I welcome public input on the Strategy and Five year Action Plan to help ensure it is the strongest plan possible for the hoiho.” Eugenie Sage said.

The strategy will be discussed further with Ngāi Tahu whānui, the public and stakeholders over the coming weeks and will be finalised by the end of 2019.

People can comment on the strategy by visiting www.doc.govt.nz/hoiho-recovery

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

Take Action

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

Big boost for community conservation in Northland

Nature in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland is getting a much needed boost thanks to additional funding for community conservation efforts announced the Min...
Read More

Story

Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation

Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Mini...
Read More

Story

Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell

A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, gia...
Read More

Story

Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve ...
Read More

Story

Southland’s Waituna Lagoon vulnerable to changing climate

The vulnerability of New Zealand’s aquatic environments to climate change is highlighted in a new report on Waituna Lagoon in Southland’s internati...
Read More

Story

Flood of support for Top of the South catchment

Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Governm...
Read More