Seabird information

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Pied shag

Karuhiruhi | Phalacrocorax varius varius

Has a white belly, black back and blue eye ring

Often seen on rocks around the coast, drying out after a dive

Feeds on fish and eels in bays, harbours and estuaries

Breeds around mainland New Zealand and on close inshore islands, year round

NZ Conservation Status Nationally Vulnerable

Pied shags nest in tall trees close to water, usually along the coast, although some travel inland short distances to nest beside lakes. This subspecies breeds only in New Zealand.

In the early to mid 20th century, a debate raged as to whether shags were responsible for reducing stocks of trout and other sport fish. Many were shot in response, but their numbers have increased now that the species is partially protected.

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Pied shag

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Karuhiruhi | Phalacrocorax varius varius

Has a white belly, black back and blue eye ring

Often seen on rocks around the coast, drying out after a dive

Feeds on fish and eels in bays, harbours and estuaries

Breeds around mainland New Zealand and on close inshore islands, year round

NZ Conservation Status Nationally Vulnerable

Pied shags nest in tall trees close to water, usually along the coast, although some travel inland short distances to nest beside lakes. This subspecies breeds only in New Zealand.

In the early to mid 20th century, a debate raged as to whether shags were responsible for reducing stocks of trout and other sport fish. Many were shot in response, but their numbers have increased now that the species is partially protected.