Dave Houston

14 posts
Visiting the Chatham Islands since 1996, Dave works for the Department of Conservation providing advice on the management of threatened species.
Phytoplankton bloom around Chatham Islands

Welcome to the Chatham Islands

750km to the east of New Zealand’s South Island lie the Chatham Islands, home to New Zealand’s most remote communities.  Around 600 people live on two of the 11 islands that make up ‘the Chathams’. Incomes are largely reliant on farming, fishing, conservation and tourism. The purpose of this website […]

Parea - Chatham Island pigeon

Parea – the Chatham Island pigeon

Status (2008):Population (2009):Trend: Critically Endangered600 individualsImproving Larger and heavier than its mainland cousin, the parea or Chatham Island pigeon is today largely confined to the south-western corner of Chatham Island.  Like several other Chatham species the parea had a close brush with extinction, with the population dropping to 40-45 birds […]

Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris)

Chatham petrel population growing

Status (2012):Population (2010):Trend: Nationally vulnerable1,400 individualsImproving Probably once abundant throughout the Chatham Islands, human exploitation, habitat destruction and introduced predators saw the Chatham petrel restricted to Rangatira or Southeast Island by the time of its discovery in 1892. Until 1961 farming activity on Rangatira resulted in the petrels being confined […]

Chatham Island oystercatchers

Many of us are familiar with New Zealand’s variable oystercatcher, the black and white (or sometimes entirely black) wader with bright orange legs and bill that we encounter on beaches around the country. What most don’t know is that the Chatham Islands have their own version, the Chatham Island oystercatcher and that it narrowly escaped extinction in recent times.