Applying a paint stripe to a wandering Chatham Petrel. Over the following few weeks intensive searching for new birds/burrow, this stripe identifes this adult as 'known' (and with it's own artificial burrow) and will not be disturbed or caught again.
Conservation efforts for the Chatham petrel started in the late 1980s, the initial focus of which was locating burrows and determining the cause of breeding failure. Once it was determined that burrow competition from broad-billed prions was causing most breeding attemptes to fail, attention shifted to protection of burrows and chicks from prion interference. Natural burrows were replaced with plastic or wooden artificial burrow (to guard against collapse) and protected from prion entry by the fitting of a neoprene flap over the burrow entrance. Burrows are also blocked over the non-breeding period to ensure they are not occupied by prions during the petrels winter absence. In the 2005/06 breeding season of the 155 known breeding pairs on Rangatira, 83% were successful in fledging their chick. New populations are being established, through chick tranlocations, onto nearby Pitt Island and the South coast of the main Chatham Island.