November 2006
Read the recovery plan for the New Zealand fairy tern/tara-iti - New Zealand’s rarest indigenous breeding bird.


The New Zealand fairy tern (Sterna nereis davisae) is New Zealand’s rarest indigenous breeding bird. It is a morphologically distinct, geographically and genetically isolated, endemic subspecies of an Australasian species, which consists of two other recognised subspecies: S. n. nereis in Australia and S. n. exsul in New Caledonia.

The population is estimated to number 35 to 40 individuals and now only breeds at four breeding sites in the North Island. It is threatened by introduced mammalian predators, disturbance and habitat modification. This plan presents a revised goal and the objectives required to continue recovery of the New Zealand fairy tern. Actions in this plan focus on the continued protection of the breeding pairs and their progeny in situ. Research is required on critical population demographics.

Publication information

By Katrina Hansen, Whangarei

Published by
Science & Technical Publishing
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10420
The Terrace
Wellington 6143, New Zealand

The General Manager Operations (Northern) of the Department of Conservation formally approved this plan in August 2006. A review of the plan is due after 10 years, in 2015, or sooner if new information or technology leads to a significant change in management direction. This plan will remain operative until a new plan has been prepared and approved, or become redundant if recovery is achieved and management effort enters a ‘maintenance phase’.

© Copyright November 2006, New Zealand Department of Conservation
ISSN 1170–3806
ISBN 0–478–14130–0

This report was prepared for publication by Science & Technical Publishing; editing and layout by Ian Mackenzie. Publication was approved by the Chief Scientist (Research, Development & Improvement Division), Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

In the interest of forest conservation, we support paperless electronic publishing. When printing, recycled paper is used wherever possible.

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