Government, iwi, NGOs and rehabilitation groups are working together to turn around the fortunes of the nationally endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguin following a series of terrible breeding seasons.
The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage helped launch the Five Year Action Plan at the annual Yellow-Eyed Penguin symposium in Dunedin today.
“I am very pleased at the effort being put in for Hoiho conservation through the partnership between the Department of Conservation (DOC), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and Fisheries New Zealand. The partners developed Te Kaweka Takohaka mō te Hoiho and Te Mahere Rima Tau, the Five Year Action Plan for hoiho released today,” said Eugenie Sage.
“Te Kaweka Takohaka mō te Hoiho is a high-level strategy which aims to restore hoiho populations in the face of pressures from human activities at sea and on land.
“The strategy for hoiho is the first to follow this partnership approach. It underlines the importance of a united effort to protect and restore the populations of hoiho and other taonga species. I want to thank community groups for their huge efforts to help hoiho conservation.”
Priorities in the strategy and action plan focus on managing human activities and disturbance and reducing impacts in marine and terrestrial habitats.
The action plan Te Mahere Rima Tau involves stakeholders in the many actions required to support hoiho. It will be reviewed annually.
Proposed actions include:
• A survey of hoiho nest sites on Rakiura/Stewart Island to identify nest numbers and locations.
• Expanding hoiho tracking in the waters around Rakiura/ to better understand their foraging behaviour and habitat use.
• Increased investment into research of disease to be able to better manage factors that affect hoiho survival and breeding success.
The draft Te Kaweka Takohaka mō te Hoiho was released for public comment in September 2019. The partners then revised the strategy and action plan to take account of feedback in submissions.
“The Strategy will set the direction for halting the decline of hoiho on the Aotearoa/New Zealand mainland.
Digital copies of the strategy and action plan are available on the DOC website (https://www.doc.govt.nz/hoiho-recovery).