November 12, 2019
Hoiho rides wave to become Bird of the Year
For the first year in its 14-year-history, a seabird has won Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year award.
The Hoiho or yellow eyed penguin just edged out the Kākāpō once all 43,460 votes were counted.
Forest & Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher says the hoiho is the world's rarest penguin, with only 225 pairs remaining on mainland New Zealand.
Hoiho face numerous threats including warming oceans leading to changes in food availability, bottom trawling damaging feeding grounds, being caught in fishing nets, and disturbance from humans.
The hoiho campaign drew support from Dunedin rockers The Chills and two Dunedin mayors, and its benefited from the early creation
Other birds in the top five were Kākāruia, black robin, Tūturiwhatū, banded dotterel, and Pīwakawaka, fantail.
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