Posted on: 26 - 10 - 2022
Westland Petrel Colony Tour
The Energylight Sales Team recently held its annual mini-conference on the West Coast of New Zealand. Part of the visit was in place to learn more about how streetlights have affected the native wildlife in Punakaiki, in particular the Westland petrels. On Thursday 25th of August, the opportunity to witness firsthand the work a small team of conservationists are making in the plight of the Westland petrels took place.
Located within the lush sub-tropical rainforest near Punakaiki Bruce and Denise, who run Petrel Colony Tours, have dedicated their time to running informative night tours to allow people to learn more about native Westland petrels in their natural habitat.
These tours allow for a small group to visit their personal property where they have had a sub-colony of Petrels actively breeding in-season since 1987.
The Energylight team was able to witness the fledglings (petrels aged 5-7 years old) coming back to their native birth grounds to breed. Video below shows them circling into land.
For much of their existence, the Westland Petrel live in darkness, in their burrows during the day, and only flying at night. Herein is why Energylight’s Mike Geddis has been passionate about working with clients who are requiring lighting for external projects (such as walkways, ports, cycleways, and airports) to work in harmony with native biology. Artificial light has had a significant impact on wildlife, however working with those who are experts in lighting for biology, alternative options can be met.
In this particular instance, bringing the issue to our wider team’s attention, Mike has been paramount in working with a key client to ensure the well-being of the Westland petrels. This involved the coordination and commissioning to shut off streetlights during the breeding season to mitigate the birds being struck down by cars or predators. Thankfully, this has seen an improvement in numbers which can be confirmed by Bruce.
To find out more about Petrel Colony Tours visit - http://www.petrelcolonytours.co.nz/
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