Conservation experts have transferred five young shore plovers/ tūturuatu from Christchurch to Mana Island near Wellington.
“There are just 250 of these birds left in the world and these juveniles are a critical part of attempts to establish a self-sustaining population on the pest-free Mana Island so numbers can grow. says Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage.
“Serious animal welfare risks to the birds saw DoC experts transfer the five juvenile tūturuatu/shore plovers Wellington with the support of Air New Zealand and the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust,” she says.
Small aviary in Christchurch
“The juvenile birds had been held in a small aviary at the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust in Christchurch.
A review found that delaying the transfer further would have serious implications for the welfare of the birds and the health of the whole population.
While virtually all of DOC’s outdoor field work is on hold during COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the Department does assess on a case-by-case basis whether any essential work is needed to meet significant animal welfare.
More information about the tūturuatu/shore plovers can be found here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/shore-plover/
The survival of the endangered shore plover relies on island biosecurity, captive breeding, and translocations to predator-free islands.
DoC says the birds are found on beaches and wave platforms of rat-free islands