The Whenua Hou diving petrels, or Flying Penguins, are under threat from predators.
Currently, there are only 200 of the birds left, all at a single breeding colony in the dunes on Whenua Hou, near Rakiura (Stewart Island).
The birds were once widely found in coastal dunes across southern New Zealand. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that it was discovered they were a distinct species of petrel.
Predators have destroyed all breeding colonies except one.
Currently, research by Victoria University of Wellington, the Department of Conservation and the University of California has been looking into the threats and what could be done to help breeding.
Lead author Johannes Fischer has been tracking the birds for three years, allowing researchers to identify offshore distribution, movement, and behaviour.
They will report their findings when their research is completed.