The Fiji Petrel Project records the first Flesh-footed Shearwater in Fiji waters – an exausted bird is resuscitated and released.
Leone Damudamu was fishing in Gau waters when an all dark ‘kacau’ circled the boat and then landed on it. Realising that this must be a Fiji Petrel or Kacau ni Gau, he followed the Fiji Petrel Project procedures and took it to Amania Taukei in Lovu village, Gau.
Amania took measurements and photographs with a disposable camera, placed the bird in a large carton and left it in a cool place until evening. He then released the bird and it flew off to sea.
The photographs show that it was not a Fiji Petrel but the first record of the Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes from Fiji.
The light coloured bill and feet are distinctive and the photo identification was confirmed by the Fiji Petrel technical advisers, David Priddel, Nicholas Carlile and Mike Imber.
NFMV’s Fiji Petrel project has been putting a lot of time into ensuring that landed petrels are ‘processed’ and then released.
Amania Taukei the project officer on Gau has been to Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales to learn how to handle and measure petrels, thanks to assistance from the Australian Government.