Year One of Chatham Island Albatross Translocation a Huge Success

The first year of establishing a second breeding colony of Chatham Island albatross at a site near Point Gap, Tuku Farm, using a chick translocation program is complete and has proven to be a huge success.

Chatham Island albatross is an endemic species that only breeds on one island, The Pyramid. It is presently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, and its status cannot be improved without the establishment of a second colony.

Fifty chicks were moved from The Pyramid to the privately owned release site at Point Gap, on the southwest coast of Main Chatham. Chicks were fed daily at this site for approximately three to four months, and consumed hundreds of kilograms of tasty fish and squid. Every single bird fledged successfully, and they should return within four to seven years.

The time and effort invested in making this project happen is indescribable. Applying for local and international funding as well as for permits, organizing and purchasing the necessary equipment, and preparing the release site were all crucial tasks that had to be done to make the first year such a success. Moving chicks from the Pyramid tested everyone's patience as the weather had to be perfect. Keeping all the feathery chicks happy and watching them grow up close and personal was a daily priviledge.

Funding for Year Two has been approved, and preparations are already underway. Taiko Trust continues to partner with the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology in Japan as well as Chatham Island landowners, Bruce and Liz Tuanui. Additional support for the project has been received by The Royal Forest and Bird Society, BirdLife International, Chatham Island Conservation Board, Enterprise Trust, and Council, the Daymond Family (owners of The Pyramid), as well as the local community.

To find out more details about the translocation project, please visit our Facebook page at, or visit the Trust Projects page.