Rakiura (Stewart Island) Maori, from our deep south, have rights to gather muttonbirds on 36 islands – the Titi Islands – around Rakiura.
Last year a lack of small fish such as krill, for the birds to feed on, meant many chicks died in their holes.
But good follows bad and this years season is looking better. The birds now being caught are a good size and the majority are healthy.
In Cloak of Protection titi are hunted by Norway rat (when it gets onto their islands) and, of course, the human hunter.
On another note, got the best feedback about Cloak of Protection yesterday. One of my friends is teaching years 5&6 in Manurewa, Auckland. She said ‘we tried & we tried to study NZ’s wildlife & we got nowhere. Then we played the game & the kids knew everything – birds, predators, the lot!’