Date: 18 December 2014
By Jamie Quirk, Ranger Services, Gisborne
The sighting of a southern giant petrel on a beach at Hicks Bay, East Cape, recently set international co-operation into action.
Southern giant petrel
It turns out that the seabird was part of a long-term study.
We were able to find out that the petrel and its parents were from Hermit Island, near Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. It had travelled a long way and, by sharing its movements, we gave scientists invaluable information for their research.
We know these seabirds circumnavigate the Southern Ocean, and at 10 months old, it's an amazing journey for one so young.
It was all about conservationists helping each other, working on similar work, an ocean away.
The simple act of gaining information enables conservationists to understand the biology of the southern giant petrel.
Southern giant petrel nest and chick
Just like volunteers who assist us, we look to assist them in their endeavours.
The southern giant petrel story is a really great example of international co-operation between DOC and Polar Ocean Research Group (USA).