Kowhai Valley and Shearwater Stream Important Bird Area

Kowhai Valley and Shearwter Stream IBA
Hutton’s shearwater in flight over the sea
The area is an important breeding site for Hutton’s shearwaters

The Kowhai Valley and Shearwater Stream Important Bird Area comprises a disjunct site in the Seaward Kaikoura Range in the north-east of New Zealand’s South Island, some 15 km inland from the coastal town of Kaikoura. The site, at an altitude of 1200–1800 m above sea level, has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because it contains the entire breeding population, about 100,000 pairs in two colonies, of Hutton's shearwaters.[1]

The larger Kowhai Valley colony, in the headwaters of the Kowhai River in the Uerau Nature Reserve, was only discovered in 1964, over 50 years after the species was first described by Gregory Mathews in 1912.[2] The smaller, Shearwater Stream, colony is on private land at the head of the Puhi Puhi Valley.[3]


  1. BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kowhai Valley, Shearwater Stream. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2014. on 2012-02-18.
  2. Sommer, Erica; Bell, Mike; Bradfield, Phil; Dunlop, Keith; Gaze, Peter; Harrow, Geoff; McGahan, Paul; Morrisey, Mike; Walford, Dave; Cuthbert, Richard (2009). "Population trends, breeding success and predation rates of Hutton's shearwater (Puffinus huttoni): a 20 year assessment" (PDF). Notornis. 56: 144–153.
  3. "Facts about Hutton's shearwater/tītī". department of Conservation, New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-02-18.

Coordinates: 42°16′S 173°36′E / 42.267°S 173.600°E / -42.267; 173.600

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