Students & Teachers

Check out some cool facts about seabirds and download our free fact sheets, lessons plans and other educational material in the resources section below. 

Seabirds have amazing lives..... Did you know?

  • most seabirds rest and sleep at sea on the waves
  • they have a great sense of smell helps them find food even when it's kilometres away
  • when a hunting gannet sights a fish it will plummet into the water at speeds up to 145km per hour
  • sooty shearwaters travel on average 64,000 kilometers in less than a year - across the entire Pacific Ocean, from Antarctic waters to the Bering Sea and from Japan to Chile
  • they sneeze excess salt out of their bodies

New Zealand is often called the seabird capital of the world - we have 85 species of seabirds that nest on the mainland and offshore islands. Some stay in New Zealand waters year-round, others migrate and only return here to breed.

In recent times many seabird species have become threatened or endangered. Some of the greatest threats include loss of habitat, introduced predators, being caught or killed in fishing nets or on baited hooks, eating or becoming tangled up in plastic, oil spills and climate change.

All around New Zealand people are working to help our seabirds. School students are restoring nesting habitats, people are trapping pests (like stoats and rats), and others are developing ways to keep seabirds away from fishing boats so they won't accidentally be caught on hooks or in nets.

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