Bob and Tar lead the search!
Where do Fiji petrels live and where do they nest? Just think – these are deeply pelagic birds that spend their whole life in the open ocean, hundreds perhaps thousands of kilometres from land.
But when the urge to breed takes hold, they head back to one small dot in the Pacific ocean – Gau island and nowhere else in the world. This we know for sure.
But where on Gau are their nesting burrows – this we still don’t know, but we are going to find out!
Leading the dedicated team are two dogs, Bob and Tar – specially trained petrel dogs from New Zealand. For 10 days every month, they are steadily covering the 52km2 of rugged upland forest, somewhere within which are the burrows.
We thought that they might be on the higher ridges where there is stunted cloud forest, but that’s been searched well – no nesting petrels. Along the way the dogs have found nearly 100 petrel nests in the last 2 ½ years, so the dogs are doing their job – but all of the nests that we can confirm the occupants have turned out to be collared petrels. We feel it’s just a matter of time………..
We are learning all the time……
Do you like music ? Fiji petrels do, or at least one of them responded.
Intrigued? Find out more later today!
Don’t forget to vote for our mysterious CRITICALLY ENDANGERED Fiji petrel as New Zealand Seabird of the Year.
Fiji has a great chance at winning the competition.
Fiji, Fijians and the world will be a poorer place if we can’t prevent the extinction of this iconic petrel.