Here on Whale Island (Moutohorā), 9 kilometres offshore from the mouth of the Whakatāne River, grey-faced petrels nest in burrows on the steep hillsides. The 240-hectare island was freed of rats, cats and rabbits by the Department of Conservation in 1987. By 2000 it was estimated that the grey-faced petrel population had doubled to 95,000 pairs. Seabirds transfer a significant amount of nutrient-rich material from the ocean to land in areas where the birds flourish.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by J. L. Kendrick
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