Published:  

2022
A report on the steps being taken to develop management strategies for the recovery of kuaka/Whenua Hou diving petrel.

Read the executive summary in Te Reo or English.

Whakarāpopoto ā kaiwhakahaere

He taoka te kuaka Whenua Hou (Pelecanoides whenuahouensis) ki a Kāi Tahu, ā, ki te hapori whānui hoki. I te mea kei te takiwā o te 210 katoa ngā pakeke e ora tonu ana, ka kīia he manu puiaki, he mokorea ki Aotearoa, kua whakarārangtia hei koiora kei te pae o te rua mate - Kei Aotearoa ka kī, ‘Threatened - Nationally Critical’, ki te ao whānui ka kī ‘Critically Endangered’. Ko tā te rangahau kātahi anō ka mutu, ahakoa kua patua ngā konihi whakaeke i tōna kau taiwhenua ki Whenua Hou, kāore anō te koiora nei kia hoki ora mai, ā, e pana tonu te koiora nei ki te pari o te rua e ngā take taimaha matatini. Ki te tautohu atu i ngā momo ara pai rawa atu ki te whāomoomo i te oranga tonutanga o te kuaka, i whakatūria e Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) i tētahi tukanga anga whakatau whakaaro (SDM).

I te haerenga o te tukanga SDM i whakatūria tētahi rōpū (he māngai nō ngā Papatipu Rūnaka, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, DOC, Te Hao Ika me te Ahumoana, ētahi nō te ahumoana tonu, me Te Taiao Tonga). I whakahuahuatia atu e te rōpū nei kia whitu ngā uara, ngā whāinga hei tūāpapa mō te oranga tonutanga o te kuaka, ā, i tautohuhia kia 11 ngā rautaki whāomo torohū (hei whiringa). Ko ngā whāinga pūtake, te tikanga ia me whai wāhi atu, ko te whakamōrahi i kā taupori kuaka, ka noho te rangatiratanga me te kaitiakitanga ki a Kāi Tahu, ka whakamōkito i ngā pānga pūnaha hauropi, ka whakamōrahi i te aroha o tangata noa, ka whakamōkito i te utu o te mahi whāomoomo, me te pānga mai o te ahumoana. Ko ētahi ara anō ka hāngai ki te ū tonu ki tō nāianei tūāhua, ka whakapiki i te tikanga whakamāuru i te pokenga rama nā ngā kaipuke, ka whakatūria he rāhui ki te whakamahinga o ngā rama, ka whakapiki i te whakahaere o ngā tupu, ka whakatūria he whakahaerenga o tā rātou tukituki ki a rātou anō, ā, ko ngā nukuhanga kōhanga whāomo ki wāhi kē o taua motu tonu, ki motu kē atu rānei. Kātahi, nā te whakatū tauira, nā ngā tohutohu mātanga i matapae atu he aha ngā hua ka puta i ia momo whiringa, mō ia whāinga pūtake i a tātou e mārama pū ana he haurokuroku tonu. Heoi anō, i te matapaetanga o ngā hua, i taea e te rōpū te whakatere i ngā āhuatanga o te whakatau ara mataaho, o te whakatau ara kōataata nā ētahi taputapu whakatau whakaaro ine-kounga, ine-tātai kanorau ki te tautohu i te whiringa whāomo kuaka e tika ana.

I tautohuhia e te rōpū kuaka he pāhekotanga o te whakamāuru o te pokenga rama nā ngā kaipuke; te whakapiki o te whakahaere tarutaru, o te whakahaere tupu Māori hoki; te whakahaere i te tukituki i waenga i te taupori tonu; me te nukunuku kōhanga ki moutere kē ko te ara e whaihua ana te whakarauora i te kuaka, me te kapi i te nuinga o ngā whāinga. Me whai te whakatūtanga o ia wāhanga i tētahi poutama ki ngā momo māngai o te rōpū i te nanaotanga atu ki te pūtea e tika ana. Ko te tukanga SDM kuaka, he korowai mō te hunga i whai wāhi atu, nā te āhurutanga o tērā tukanga i whakaputa mai he tūtohutanga whai tikanga, he tūtohutanga kōataata hoki ki te whakarauora i tēnei taoka, ahakoa ngā taero, e kaha kitea e te mahi whakarauora i ngā koiora o te moana, e hāngai ana ki ngā whāinga tukituki, ki ngā uara rerekē, ki te haurokuroku hoki.

Executive summary

The kuaka/Whenua Hou diving petrel (Pelecanoides whenuahouensis) is a taoka (treasure) to Kāi Tahu, and the wider community. With only ~210 adults remaining it is one of the rarest birds of Aotearoa New Zealand and is listed as Threatened – Nationally Critical in Aotearoa and as Critically Endangered globally. Recent research suggested that, despite the removal of invasive predators from its sole remaining colony on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou, the species has not recovered, and ongoing complex pressures continue to put the species at risk of extinction. To identify the best conservation management options for kuaka recovery, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) initiated a structured decision-making (SDM) process. 

During this SDM process, a rōpū (working group; consisting of representatives of the Papatipu Rūnaka, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, DOC, Fisheries New Zealand, the fishing industry, and Environment Southland) was formed. This rōpū articulated seven values (objectives) fundamental to kuaka recovery and identified 11 potential conservation strategies (alternatives). Fundamental objectives included: maximising the number of kuaka and kuaka populations, Kāi Tahu to express rangatiratanga (sovereignty) and exercise kaitiakitanga (guardianship), minimising ecosystem impacts, maximising public appreciation, minimising costs to conservation management, and minimising impacts on fisheries. Potential alternatives included: status quo, increasing best practice mitigation of vessel-based light pollution, implementing light curfews, improving plant control, initiating competition management, and intra- or inter-island conservation translocations. The consequences for each alternative across each fundamental objective were then predicted using a variety of modelling techniques and expert elicitations, while explicitly accounting for uncertainty. Once consequences were predicted, the rōpū was able to navigate this decision-landscape explicitly and transparently using a variety of qualitative and quantitative decision-analytical tools to identify the preferred option for kuaka conservation.

The kuaka rōpū identified that a combination of improved mitigation of vessel-based light pollution, increased weed and native plant control, competition managment, and inter-island translocations provided the best outcome for kuaka recovery across the multiple objectives. These components should be subjected to a stepwise implementation with the different representatives of the rōpū once adequate funding has been secured. The kuaka SDM process provided an inclusive environment among participants and facilitated a rational and transparent recommendation for the recovery of this taoka in the face of challenges, common for marine species recovery, including competing objectives, differing value judgements, and uncertainty.

Publication information

Written by Johannes H. Fischer, Kevin A. Parker, Caio F. Kenup, Graeme A. Taylor, Igor Debski, and John G. Ewen.

Published by the Department of Conservation. ISBN 978-1-99-116191-8.

Contact

Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office
Phone:   +64 4 471 0726
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   enquiries@doc.govt.nz
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
Wellington 6140
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