Conservation Successes in the Chatham Islands

The Department of Conservation in partnership with many local people, have created a stunning number of successful conservation programs.  The departments website is a particularly useful source of information.

The conservation programs in operation are based around the preservation and (where possible) the restoration of:

  1. Native plant life
  2. Native wildlife
  3. Historic and cultural 
  4. Landscape

Black Robin

The recovery of the Chatham Islands black robin from the brink of extinction is an internationally renowned conservation success story, and probably one of the most successful conservation recovery efforts in New Zealand history. The dedication that led to the return of this population from just one viable female, Old Blue, has inspired people throughout the globe.

Check out this great video on the Black Robin from Bush Telly Tv here

Chatham Island Tūī

The Chatham Island tūī is a subspecies of the tūī found on mainland New Zealand. It is larger and has longer throat tufts than its mainland counterpart and the song is also significantly different.

Chatham Island Tāiko

Found on the Chatham Islands off mainland New Zealand, the tāiko (Pterodroma magentae) is one of the world’s rarest seabirds.  The Chatham Islands Taiko Trust have been instrumental in achieving a number of successes restoring this rare seabird which had been thought to be extinct for over 100 years and has links to the Moriori people.

Chatham Island Mudfish

The Chatham Island mudfish is a non-migratory freshwater fish endemic to the Chatham Islands, found only in lakes and small streams on the southern part of the main Chatham Island

Chatham Island Oystercatcher/Tōrea

This black and white wader is unique to the Chatham Islands. It is an endangered species with a high risk of extinction.

Chatham Petrel/Ranguru

Once widespread on the Chatham Islands, the Chatham petrel was until recently restricted to Rangatira Island but active management has allowed the population to grow on other islands.

Royal Albatross/Toroa:

The toroa or royal albatross is a graceful giant with a wing span of over three metres. Renowned ocean wanderers, they travel vast distances from their breeding grounds to feed.

The Chatham Island Pigeon is one of the heaviest birds of its type

Chatham Island Pigeon/Parea

The critically endangered Chatham Island pigeon or parea is restricted to the Chatham Islands. Although similar in appearance to the New Zealand pigeon, it is around 20% heavier, making it one of the world’s heaviest pigeons.

New Zealand Fur Seals

Its the ears that give them away - only the New Zealand fur seals have ears.  Hunted to the point of extinction they are now commonplace around New Zealand and numbers are quietly increasing.

TVNZ have a great 4 minute video about the fur seals from their show 'Meet the Locals' 

You might also enjoy our photo gallery.

Air Chathams Other Links

Air Chathams Route

Pitt Island Day Trips


Pitt Island is home to some of the world's rarest birds and plants, and is the first inhabited place in the world to witness each new day. A major highlight for all visitors to the Chathams, so why not take a day trip and discover it for yourself?

Scenic Flights


The best way to see the Chatham's is by air. Check out our great Scenic Flight options!

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