Fig. 1. Team members Jo Peace, Megan Friesen and Derek Bettesworth head towards the Burgess Island lighthouse. Little Barrier Island Hauturu can be seen in the background. Photo Alan Tennyson, Te Papa

By Alan Tennyson, Curator of Vertebrates I was invited by Chris Gaskin (Forest & Bird) and Matt Rayner (Auckland University) to join a party in February 2013 on the Mokohinau Islands to hunt for the nesting grounds of the recently rediscovered New Zealand storm petrel (Fregetta maoriana). This island groupRead more

The Poor Knights Islands, northeast of Whangarei, are perhaps best known as a world-class diving location, but the life on land is no less astonishing and it really comes alive at night. In December 2011, I assisted seabird expert Graeme Taylor with his work on the migration of Buller’s Shearwaters. Read more

Alan Tennyson holding an oiled penguin. Photograph by A. Tennyson, Te Papa

The team of Te Papa bird specialists is continuing to help at the wildlife recovery centre in Tauranga as both live and dead oiled birds continue to come ashore 3 weeks after the grounding of the M.V. Rena. Our job is primarily to make sure that dead birds are correctly identifiedRead more

Normally fossils are found in the field but in this case Te Papa technicians and I have been rediscovering an early accumulation of fossil reptiles and fish held in Te Papa’s collections that have not been examined for decades. When the Colonial Museum opened in 1865, the Director James Hector,Read more

By Chris Paulin and Alan Tennyson Recently, a group of researchers in New Zealand suggested that the absence of fossils between 25 and 22 million years ago indicated that the islands completely disappeared under water, and then later re-emerged. But a newly discovered fossil reptile suggests this theory does notRead more