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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Unique NZ seabird egg discovered by scientists...

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NZ storm petrel egg found at Little Barrier Island (Source: New Zealand Department of Conservation)
Source: New Zealand Department of Conservation
    Researchers in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park are the first scientists to find a New Zealand storm petrel egg.
    Presumed extinct, NZ storm petrels were rediscovered in 2003, more than a century after the last sighting.
    In February last year the sparrow-sized seabirds were tracked to breeding sites on Te Hauturu-o-Toi (Little Barrier Island) where they have been monitored since.
    Over a year's worth of work has paid off for scientists with the recent discovery of an egg.

    New Zealand storm petrel.

    Department of Conservation principal science advisor Graeme Taylor described the egg as white with a fine dusting of pink spots.
    Scientists managed to check the egg was fertile and record data while the female bird was away from the nest.
    "The fact it has taken until 2014 for scientists to observe one of these tiny eggs reflects how much we still don't know about New Zealand's natural environment and particularly for marine species," says Mr Taylor.
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