11 Mar 2016

Forest & Bird and Birds New Zealand complete the identification of New Zealand’s Marine Important Bird Areas

New Zealand Marine IBA reports
By Mike Britton

New Zealand is known as the sea bird capital of the world.  These unique birds face a wide range of threats and many species are seriously threatened both at sea and on land.  Knowing where the key populations are located and where they nest and forage, is the key to ensuring their long term survival.

So the identification of marine and coastal Important Bird Areas it is an important step in their conservation.  This major exercise has resulted in the publishing of the final three volumes of the Marine Important Bird Area reports covering sites at sea, coastal sites and islands; and rivers, estuaries, coastal lagoons and harbours.  These reports will give community groups, DOC, lawmakers, politicians, iwi groups and councils a useful guide as to where New Zealand's seabirds breed and feed, so their protection can be ensured. It will help advocating their protection with fishers, coastal users and in the consideration of developments under New Zealand’s Resource Management Act.

A big task coordinated by well know seabird expert Chris Gaskin, it is the result of a major collaboration of scientists and conservationists.  Thanks are well due to all the dedicated people who contributed.

The reports are available on line at