Chatham Island TaikoKhatham Island Taiko
Pterodroma taiko (Magenta Petrel) Pterodroma smagentae
Chatham Island Taiko was proclaimed deserted but re-discovered by David Crocket at the southeast edge of Chatham Island in 1978, 111 years after it was first found at Sea. The first three caves were found in 1987 with the help of wireless transmission.
Until 1999, more than two years after the rediscovery of the Taikos, 23 caves were found. It was still declining and was on the verge of dying out in 1994, when only four spawning couples were known, although it was possible that others might have gone nowhere. Taiko Chatham Island have made a gradual return in the last ten years since their low point, with a known populations of 120 species, 15 of which were spawning couples in 2004.
Taiko is thought to have suffered a huge 80 per cent drop over 45 years. Taiko bone predominance in Moriori and Maori-Middens suggests that they were abundantly chased for foraging. Imported swine, kittens, dogs as well as rat were the most important carnivores of the Taiko. Otago based natives from Otago on the South Island, where they are now deserted, including egg and chickens, and are competing for their nest caves.
Since the Taiko's nesting place is on the island of Chatham in the jungle, 4 to 6 kilometers up-country, the grubbing-up of pastures was another reason for the decrease. Chatham Islands are located on the east edge of Chatham Rise, an underwater plain that is New Zealand's most intense merchant fishing.
While the by-catch types are not recorded, it can be assumed that many Taiko and Chatham raptors were deadly casualties of the fishery. In 2001, during the six week fishery for Leng on Chatham Rise, 293 storm birds and 11 albatrosses were slaughtered by long-lines laid by a Nelson-fisherboat.
With only 16 young birds seen between 1987 and 2006, the breed was slowly resuming. The 2002 kennel was extraordinary when seven chickens became full-grown. In 2006 there were 35 caves, 25 brood couples and 11 known chickens, bringing the number of chickens to 63 since 1987.