INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hoiho crowned Bird of the Year for 2019

Published: Mon 11 Nov 2019 08:44 AM
Widely considered an underdog, the valiant hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin) has smashed the feathered ceiling to win Bird of the Year, a first for seabirds in the competition's 14 year history.
For much of the two week voting period in Forest & Bird's annual competition, the hoiho was neck and neck with the iconic kākāpō, only managing to edge ahead in the final few days.
"It was so close between these two amazing endangered birds, it was impossible to predict a winner for most of the competition," says Forest & Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher.
The hoiho is the world’s rarest penguin, with only 225 pairs remaining on mainland New Zealand in 2018/19. 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 gathered significant support, including Dunedin rockers The Chills and two Dunedin Mayors.
Hoiho also benefited from the early creation of a ‘penguin coalition’ between all four of the penguin campaign teams (hoiho, korora, tawaki, and rockhopper) who pledged to back each other under the new STV voting system.
As usual, memes and trash-talk took over the internet during Bird of the Year. Kākāpō took a lot of heat, being labelled boomers and moss chickens, while the incumbent kererū was accused of being drunk and not fulfilling last year's campaign promises.
Hoiho was teased for being the bird most likely to take a date to McDonald’s for a Fillet-O-Fish, while bittern ran a single issue campaign of being the bird most able to imitate a stick.
"Bird of the Year has become a national passion, and that's thanks to everyone relentlessly and ruthlessly promoting their favourite bird's weirdest qualities to the globe," says Ms Hubscher.
"Our birds are so incredible and unique - all New Zealand birds are winners!"
Bird of the Year is run by independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird to raise awareness of New Zealand’s unique native birds and the threats they face.
Eighty percent of New Zealand’s birds are in trouble, and one out of three bird species is at serious risk of extinction including this year’s winner, the hoiho.
Bird of the Year 2019 results
Winner - hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin with 12,022 votes
First five:
Hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin
Kākāpō
Kakaruia, black robin
Ttūturiwhatu, banded dotterel
Pīwakawaka, fantail
There were 43,460 votes made and verified.
ends

Next in Lifestyle

1917's 1,000 Yard Stare
By: Howard Davis
New Zealand set to host World Cup of Floorball in 2022
By: International Floorball Federation
Tuia 250 Voyage ends but Tuia - Our Future is Unstoppable
By: Tuia 250
NZ Fringe 2020 has launched
By: New Zealand Fringe Festival
Tuia 250 ending is just the beginning
By: New Zealand Government
Final stop for Tuia 250 Voyage celebrates past and future
By: Tuia 250
Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla arrival in Capital
By: Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Courtney Johnston will lead Te Papa into a new era
By: Te Papa
Creative NZ board appointments
By: Creative New Zealand
Auckland Fringe Announces New Festival Director
By: Auckland Fringe
2019 NZ Comedy Guild Awards handed out
By: New Zealand Comedy Guild
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media