Seabird information

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Westland petrel

Taiko | Procellaria westlandica

Has a black body and wings and a pale yellow bill with dark top and tip - larger than the black petrel

Often seen around New Zealand's coast and in the Tasman Sea

Feeds on fish and squid, feeds offal to its chicks

Breeds only in forest near Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island, May to December

Migrates across the Pacific from November to April, and adults travel south to Cape Horn

NZ Threat Classification Naturally Uncommon

The taiko is a rare seabird that nests in burrows in an 8 km stretch of coastal forest of the Paparoa range. It is one of the few petrels that still nests on the New Zealand mainland. The area is designated a Specially Protected Area and intensive predator control has seen the small population of 20,000 birds and 2000 breeding pairs stabilise.

The species was not discovered until 1945, when pupils of Barrytown School, north of Greymouth, discovered them while carrying out a school project.

Taiko do not start breeding until they are 12 years old, and are a long-lived species.

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Westland petrel

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Taiko | Procellaria westlandica

Has a black body and wings and a pale yellow bill with dark top and tip - larger than the black petrel

Often seen around New Zealand's coast and in the Tasman Sea

Feeds on fish and squid, feeds offal to its chicks

Breeds only in forest near Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island, May to December

Migrates across the Pacific from November to April, and adults travel south to Cape Horn

NZ Threat Classification Naturally Uncommon

The taiko is a rare seabird that nests in burrows in an 8 km stretch of coastal forest of the Paparoa range. It is one of the few petrels that still nests on the New Zealand mainland. The area is designated a Specially Protected Area and intensive predator control has seen the small population of 20,000 birds and 2000 breeding pairs stabilise.

The species was not discovered until 1945, when pupils of Barrytown School, north of Greymouth, discovered them while carrying out a school project.

Taiko do not start breeding until they are 12 years old, and are a long-lived species.