Tavora Reserve (Bobby’s Head), near Palmerston, will be closed from 1 November 2020 to 28 February 2021 for seasonal management purposes.
In 1993 the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust secured this land for the purpose of improving and enhancing the breeding habitat for yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho present. At the time of purchase there were very low natural values remaining. Intensive farming practices over the past decades had destroyed much of the natural vegetation.
Following a severe predation episode and a landslide in the late 1990s which killed several yellow-eyed penguins, breeding pairs have only numbered between 1 and 3 pairs.
In previous years, beach observations have been undertaken and as many as ten hoiho have been seen on the South Beach. This shows there is a real possibility that breeding numbers would increase if the right management regimes were implemented. At the same time, visitors have been observed blocking hoiho leaving and arriving and following birds in order to obtain photographs.
The Trust believes that this disturbance by visitors to their breeding area is detrimental to nesting success. Therefore the Trust will close the reserve during the crucial period of November and February, ultimately giving hoiho the least disturbance.
The Trust seeks support from locals and the general public to help ensure this closure is respected to give hoiho the best chance of survival.
Recent hoiho numbers have been their lowest in 25 years, and all possible management regimes to assist their survival, need to be implemented.
Any enquiries about this closure can be made directly to the Trust via email firstname.lastname@example.org