Photo of the week: Tarāpuka / Black-billed gull

Department of Conservation —  29/07/2015

New Zealand’s endemic tarāpuka / black-billed gull is the most threatened gull species in the world.

Black-billed gull.  Photo: Some guy called Darren | flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

While black-billed gull numbers are high compared to many threatened species, their populations are in rapid decline. This is predicted to continue – by up to 70% over the next 30 years.

Because of their expected decline, the threat status of black-billed gull is now Nationally Critical. This is the highest threat category, reserved for our rarest birds.

Why such rapid decline?

The decline of tarāpuka is due to a number of things, including predation, land-use change, weed encroachment on breeding sites, and water extraction from braided rivers.

You can help

Keep rubbish and pollutants away from waterways and storm drains; ensure pets and domestic animals don’t disturb wildlife; trap pests near breeding colonies and never feed gulls food or scraps – some of our food is harmful to them.

Photo: Some guy called Darren | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

One response to Photo of the week: Tarāpuka / Black-billed gull


    Wow who’d have thought. Love all our birdlife.